Accessibility links

Kremlin: Savchenko's Release Won't Help Warm EU-Russia Ties

Russia says the release of Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko after nearly two years in captivity is unlikely to help improve Moscow's relations with the European Union.

Savchenko returned home on May 25 after being exchanged for two Russians held by Ukraine.

"The return of our guys to Moscow and the pardoning of Savchenko and her return to Kyiv can hardly be considered as something that is able to significantly change the current atmosphere, which of course we would like to see as more constructive," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on May 26.

Savchenko's handover, which had been demanded by the West, comes a few weeks before the EU decides whether to extend sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

The EU sanctions, which were adopted in 2014 in response to Russia's occupation and illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and Moscow's military support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, are due to expire at the end of July.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS