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European Parliament Calls On Russia To Release Estonian, Ukrainian Prisoners

STRASBOURG, France – EU lawmakers have urged Russia to immediately release the Estonian police officer Eston Kohver, Ukrainian film-maker Oleg Sentsov, and civil activist Oleksandr Kolchenko.

In a resolution backed by the European Parliament's major political groups on September 10, the lawmakers condemn the "blatant violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Estonia through the illegal kidnapping of citizens of both countries."

Kohver was kidnapped in Estonia in September 2014 and was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison in Russia. Sentsov and Kolchenko were sentenced to 20 and 10 years, respectively, after being arrested in the Crimea in May 2014.

The resolution says Russian courts are not "competent to judge acts committed outside the internationally recognized territory of Russia."

It also calls on European Council President Donald Tusk and EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini to come up with "a comprehensive policy strategy which would enable the EU to regain the initiative and to pursue a more clear-cut policy towards Russia."