: Russia admits to a possibility of swapping Savchenko for ‘decent and honest Russian citizens'

15:04 Apr. 1, 2016

Russia admits to a possibility of swapping Savchenko for ‘decent and honest Russian citizens'

Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, right, smiles in a glass cage inside court, in the town of Donetsk, Rostov-on-Don region, Russia, March 22, 2016 (AP)

Investigative Committee says Ukrainian pilot cannot be pardoned without remorse

A representative of the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin admits that Nadiya Savchenko can be exchanged for Russian citizens, who were captured in eastern Ukraine in May 2015.

In his blog, published on the web site of the Russia's Investigative Committee, Markin says that Ukrainian pilot should serve the whole 22-year prison term, but exchange is acceptable "if it would help release decent and honest people from Kyiv cconfinement"

Read also 'I will leave pre-trial detention centre only to go to Ukraine' – Savchenko

Markin adds that Savchenko cannot be pardoned without admitting guilt and remorse.

"Anyway, personal pardon is the prerogative right of the Russian President, and he is the only one to make such decisions," he says.

Watch also Nadiya Savchenko could possibly return to Ukraine soon - lawyer

Earlier Russia's Foreign Ministry refuted media reports about ‘behind-the-scenes negotiations' on Savchenko exchange.

On March 22 Ukrainian military pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Russian court found her guilty on charges of complicity in the deaths of two Russian journalists and of crossing the Russian border illegally.

Savchenko promises to resume her ‘dry' hunger strike on April 6. She says she will refuse any food or liquids until she is returned to Ukraine.

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