14:47 May. 28, 2016
Russia's President says peace accords stipulate only exchange of those held in Donbas or taken away from there
The pardoning of Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko has no relation to the Minsk peace agreements, Russian president Vladimir Putin told at a press conference in Athens after talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
According to Putin, Minsk accords mention only persons held in Donbas or those who were taken from Luhansk and Donetsk regions to the government-controlled territory.
"The number one task for us was to return home two Russian nationals, who were convicted by a Ukrainian court and were serving their prison sentences in Ukraine," Putin said, reminding that the decision to ‘pardon' Savchenko was taken at the request of relatives of the killed journalists.
Savchenko was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the alleged involvement in the murder of two Russian journalists covering conflict in eastern Ukraine. She was convicted despite the numerous evidence that she had already been in the hands of Russian-backed militants when the journalists died.
Reporting by Interfax, TASS