Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Russia

Kremlin Says Ukrainian Pilot 'Will Serve' Her Sentence

Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko has been jailed for 22 years for involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine, a charge many believe was politically motivated.
Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko has been jailed for 22 years for involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine, a charge many believe was politically motivated.

The Kremlin says Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko will serve her 22-year prison sentence handed down by a Russian court, despite Kyiv's pushing for a prisoner exchange.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "With Savchenko, the situation is as simple and understandable as possible. Savchenko is a convict... She will serve her sentence."

In excerpts from a televised interview published on March 26, Peskov denied any decision had been taken on Savchenko's release or exchange.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Kyiv was ready to swap her for Russian prisoners. 

Peskov said "so far, there are no such decisions" by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Peskov acknowledged that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier raised Savchenko's case on recent visits to Moscow.

However, he downplayed their comments, saying "Kerry did not come to pressure Putin over Savchenko."

Savchenko was sentenced on March 22 after being convicted of involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine in 2014. She denies the charges. 

Peskov's interview was set to air later on March 26. 

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax
 

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