Russia might agree to release political prisoners during FIFA World Cup, - Klimkin

Still, no chance the Kremlin is going to set them free in coming weeks, Ukraine's foreign minister says
08:05, 18 June 2018

The Russian government might agree on the release of Ukrainian political prisoners. Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's foreign minister said this to Channel 5 on late Sunday. 

'It is possible, but not as a goodwill gesture; it's more about making Russia's image look better during the championship. We should use this opportunity and keep on working', Klimkin said.

He added that one should not count on the fast release of Ukrainian political prisoners. 

'We do realize that Russia is not going to release all of them in the coming days and weeks. It will keep on using these people to apply political pressure,' Klimnkin said.

Earlier, UN Secretary-General António Guterres received a letter from 38 countries in which they asked to aid liberate Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov illegally detained in Russia. Ukraine’s permanent representative to UN Volodymyr Yelchenko said that apart from Ukraine, the address was supported by the EU countries, The United States, Georgia, Moldova, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

“It will soon be a month Sentsov is on hunger strike and we know that in the coming days the UN Secretary-General plans to visit Russia. We expect that Guterres will raise this issue”, he said.

Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov has announced a hunger strike on May 14. This way, he demands that all Ukrainians detained in Russia and annexed Crimea be released. Sentsov said he was ready to die if the requirements were not fulfilled.

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