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Kremlin 'Can't Confirm' Reports On Deal To Release Two Ukrainians


Yuriy Soloshenko was sentenced to six years in jail on spying charges in October.

Yuriy Soloshenko was sentenced to six years in jail on spying charges in October.

The Kremlin says it can’t confirm reports that Moscow and Kyiv have reached an agreement to hand over two Ukrainian nationals serving prison terms in Russia.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on May 30 that he had "no information that would allow me to confirm this."

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a televised interview on May 29 that "a preliminary agreement" had been reached with Russia to extradite Yuriy Soloshenko and Hennadiy Afanasyev.

Afanasyev's lawyer Aleksandr Popkov said on May 30 that his client and Soloshenko had officially written letters to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking him to pardon them.

Afanasyev was sentenced to seven years in jail on terrorism charges in April 2015. Soloshenko was sentenced to six years in jail on spying charges in October.

Russia has seen an unprecedented number of espionage and treason cases reach trial since annexing Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.

On May 25, Moscow and Kyiv exchanged prisoners. Ukrainian military aviator Nadia Savchenko returned home after being exchanged for two Russians held by Ukraine.

Based on reporting on UNIAN, TASS, and Interfax
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