Prague/Donetsk, Russia, March 22 (CTK) – The Czech Foreign Ministry called on Russia on Tuesday to immediately release Ukrainian officer and MP Nadezhda Savchenko, whom a Russian court sentenced to 22 years in prison on Tuesday for alleged participation in the murder of Russian journalists in the east of Ukraine.
Savchenko dismisses all accusations. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko proposed on Tuesday that Savchenko be swapped for two Russians arrested in the conflict in the east of Ukraine.
Russia has reacted evasively.
The Czech Foreign Ministry called on Moscow on Tuesday to immediately release Savchenko “with regard for humanitarian reasons and adopted international legal commitments” and allow her to return home.
In its statement, the Foreign Ministry justified its call with the fulfilling of the peace agreements of Minsk of February 2015, which enjoin the fighting sides to release all imprisoned persons.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Monday a swap of prisoners of war between Ukraine and Russia could be a solution for Savchenko.
“We support the fulfilment of that part of the Minsk agreements that speaks about the exchange of prisoners of war. In my view, this could be a solution for Ms Savchenko,” he said.
Savchenko, 34, was charged with directing fire of the Ukrainian military at Russian journalists, two of whom died, as a member of a voluntary unit fighting on the side of government forces in the east of Ukraine in June 2014.
According to the defence, however, at the time she was already arrested by pro-Russian separatists who handed her to the Russians.