Russian parliament: Savchenko may be exchanged on Russian GRU agents
Speaker Valentina Matvienko says negotiations on the matter are underway
The Council of Federation of Russia doesn’t rule out the opportunity that Nadiya Savchenko will be exchanged for two servicemen of Russian military intelligence. As 112 International reported, Yevgeniy Yerofeev and Alexandr Alexandrov were captured in Luhansk region in May 2015, while on a combat mission; they served with the local pro-Kremlin separatists. Both were wounded in combat, captured and taken to Kyiv, where they were charged with committing several crimes against Ukraine’s statehood and sovereignty.
According to Russian parliamentary speaker Valentina Matvienko, both sides are now considering the legal procedure of such exchange. “For that to happen, both sides should demonstrate political will, and we’ve got this will. I believe the ultimate formula will be found in the near time. Russia intends to save lives of its citizens, using any chance there is”, Matvienko stated.
As 112 International reported, on April 19, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said he and his Russian counterpart Putin agreed the procedure of releasing Savchenko. “As Ukraine’s President, I am especially concerned about releasing Ukrainians from the Russian detention; and My Danish counterpart can confirm that this matter is of priority for Ukraine during all international meetings. I have repeatedly said I’m ready to set the wheels in motion so as to return Nadiya Savchenko and other Ukrainian citizens back to Motherland. I underline that when it comes to human life, one needs to put aside all sorts of politics and ensure the return as soon as possible. That’s why I started this dialogue with Putin. I guess we managed to agree on a certain procedure of releasing Nadiya”, Poroshenko said.
According to Savchenko's lawyer Ilya Novikov, the exchange cannot take place until May 18. That marks 30 days since the verdict in their case was announced. "That is, one can expect the exchange on that day or right after that, as soon as the necessary documents are signed”, the lawyer stressed, specifying that President Poroshenko outtalked Nadiya Savchenko to cease starving until May 18.
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