Accessibility links

Breaking News

Obama, G7 Urge Russia To Free Ukrainian Pilot Savchenko

World powers are calling on Russia to free Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko, who is on a hunger strike.

News media are reporting that U.S. President Barack Obama and the world's leading economic powers have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to release jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko.

The U.S. leader in a phone conversation with Putin on March 16 stressed that Moscow must free Savchenko, who has refused to eat because of her detention on murder charges, in order to comply with the Minsk agreement, which requires all sides in the conflict in eastern Ukraine to release unlawfully detained persons, the AP and Interfax news agencies reported.

Kyiv ambassadors from the Group of Seven (G7) economic powers also expressed "serious concerns" about Savchenko's health because of her hunger strike and called on Russia to release her under the Minsk accord, according to a statement posted on the website of the U.S. embassy in Kyiv.

Russian authorities accuse Savchenko, 34, of acting as a spotter who called in coordinates for a mortar attack that killed two Russian journalists during the conflict. Prosecutors have asked the court to to sentence her to 23 years in prison for the killings.

Based on reporting by AP and Interfax