12:37 May. 25, 2016
Ukrainian pilot to be swapped today for two Russian soldiers
The Ukrainian President's plane has landed in Russia's Rostov city to take home Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who was illegally convicted and jailed in Russia. She is expected to be swapped for two Russian special forces servicemen, captured and convicted in Ukraine. This is reported by the Ukrainian news outlet UNIAN with a reference to their source in Russia.
"The plane has arrived in Rostov at late May 24. Savchenko should be swapped (for Russian soldiers) today, on May 25", UNIAN quotes a source as saying.
The Kremlin did not have information regarding Savchenko-Russian-soldiers exchange.
When Savchenko's guilty verdict was announced on May 22, Ukrainian President Poroshenko said that Ukraine was ready to transfer the soldiers to Russia in return for the release of Nadiya Savchenko.
On April 24, Poroshenko said that he agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin on terms of Savchenko's release. On April 29, Savchenko filled in all the necessary documents for extradition.
"We will do everything possible for Nadia to return home as soon as possible. I'll do everything to bring her back this month," on May 23 Poroshenko told journalists in Turkey answering a question about a possible swap of Savchenko for two Russian servicemen convicted in Ukraine.
On March 22 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.
Russian special forces servicemen Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Yevgeniy Yerofeyev are sentenced to 14 years behind bars and asset seizure.