: Poroshenko calls Putin to facilitate release of Nadiya Savchenko
Politics10:34 Apr. 19, 2016

Poroshenko calls Putin to facilitate release of Nadiya Savchenko

Russian soldiers, who were sentenced in Ukraine to 14 years in jail, may be swapped for Ukrainian pilot

On late April 18, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held the phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the release of Ukrainian female pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, according to the Ukrainian president's press service.

"Poroshenko said Ukraine urges Russia to immediately release Nadiya Savchenko," says the press service 

The leaders agreed that the Consul General of Ukraine in Rostov should be immediately allowed to see Savchenko in prison. 

Due to her deteriorating health, Ukraine's President also insisted on allowing Ukrainian or German doctors to examine the Ukrainian pilot, the statement reads. Savchenko's case had to be considered at the PACE spring session on April 18. 

Read also Debate on Savchenko postponed

Both leaders also discussed the issue of Russian military servicemen Yevgeniy Yerofeyev and Aleksandr Aleksandrov who were sentenced in Ukraine to 14 years in prison, on April 18. 

STORY: Last month, Nadiya Savchenko was sentenced by a Russian court to spend 22 years in prison for being involved in the deaths of two Russian journalists in the Donbas warzone in 2014 and for illegally crossing the Ukrainian-Russian border. Savchenko denies the charges. Human rights organizations, the OSCE, some UN Security Council members and the European Parliament have all called for her release.

On April 6, when the verdict came into force, the pilot resumed her full hunger strike – without food and water. Her health keeps deteriorating since then.

Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Yevgeniy Yerofeev, two Russian Special Forces servicemen, were captured in the Luhansk region in May 2015. They have been accused of several crimes. Among the charges is murder of a Ukrainian soldier, creating a terrorist group and waging aggressive war against the country. 

The servicemen could be exchanged for Ukrainians held by the Kremlin. In a recent statement President Poroshenko said he was ready to transfer the soldiers to Russia in return for the release of Nadiya Savchenko.  

Reporting by UNIAN


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