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Medvedchuk on talks with Putin on release of Ukrainian sailors

The head of the political council Opposition Platform - For Life Viktor Medvedchuk told about the negotiations he held with Vladimir Putin
16:59, 11 April 2019

Chairman of the political council of “Opposition Platform – For Life” Viktor Medvedchuk
Zoya Shu/112.ua

The head of the political council Opposition Platform - For Life Viktor Medvedchuk on air of 112 Ukraine TV channel told about the talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the release of Ukrainian sailors.

“Yes, indeed, such a meeting took place on April 4. I was in Moscow and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where the main issue and, in fact, the purpose of the visit was the release of 22 our sailors and two Security Service employees who remain in Russian Federation after the earlier events. They are under investigation and they are in custody. The conversation was about this,” he said.

“I must say that this was not the first meeting of negotiations on their release. This talks continue, and, moreover, I have a hope, like our political party Opposition Platform - For Life, which leads this dialogue and doing everything necessary today for the release of the Ukrainian seamen, that this our negotiation process and these actions of ours will end successfully. I cannot say more, unfortunately. I will speak in detail when there is a particular result is achieved,” he added.

He also noted that there are no particular terms on the release of the sailors.

“Now, there are no terms, which could determine that it is impossible until some moment but after some period of time it could happen. Now, the investigative actions take place and the investigative bodies complete the preliminary investigation. But it is difficult to say at what stage the release will be possible,” he said.

Related: Azov Crisis: Russian FSB appoints new expertise

“If we talk about the implementation of legal procedures and go strictly according to the plan that was once used to Savchenko, Soloshenko, Afanasyev, who were also convicted and kept in the Russian Federation, this can happen after the end of court hearings. But I do not rule out other options that may be in this situation and which will enable them to be released sooner from Russia. Whether it happens or not depends on the negotiation process, on what we will achieve in the following time, in the closest following months, I want them to truly return home, to their families, to their relatives,” Medvedchuk added.

As is it was reported earlier, the psychological and psychiatric judicial expertise against 20 captured Ukrainian sailors took place in Russia, where they are illegally held under trumped-up charges. 

24 Ukrainian sailors and three Navy vessels were captured by Russian special service in November 2018, as the ships were on their way across the Kerch Strait. The Russian military opened fire, wounding three Ukrainian servicemen. All 24 were arrested and charged with 'violating the Russian border'. Ukraine stated it was an act of direct aggression by the Kremlin. All Ukrainian sailors consider themselves prisoners of war.

Related: Azov crisis: Families of Ukrainian POWs to attend court hearing in Moscow

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