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Savchenko Removed From Ukrainian Delegation To PACE


Nadia Savchenko attends a debate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in June.

Nadia Savchenko attends a debate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in June.

The Ukrainian parliament has removed Ukrainian lawmaker Nadia Savchenko from the country’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

A total of 237 lawmakers out of 324 present at a December 22 session of the Verkhovna Rada supported the move.

It came eight days after the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party announced that Savchenko, a former military aviator who spent nearly two years in Russian jails, had resigned from the party in late October.

A day before that, Savchenko confirmed media reports that she had met in Minsk with the leaders of two Russia-backed separatist groups in eastern Ukraine.

Batkivshchyna members accused her of "negotiating with terrorists."

Savchenko told RFE/RL on December 13 that she met with the separatist leaders to discuss ways to secure the release of Ukrainians held captive by the separatists and vowed to continue her efforts.

Savchenko, who says she was seized by separatists in June 2014 and taken to Russia, was jailed there and became a national symbol of resilience before her release in a swap deal in May.

She became a lawmaker and member of Ukraine's delegation to PACE while in Russian custody.

Based on reporting by UNIAN and Interfax
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