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US: Russia should release all Ukrainian political prisoners, including Crimean Tatars

The U.S. supports Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in aspiration to settle Donbas conflict diplomatically
09:51, 9 September 2019

Morgan Ortagus, the U.S. State Department Spokesperson and Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo Twitter

The U.S. welcomes the news about the release of 35 Ukrainians kept in Russia and urges Kremlin to release other Ukrainians, including the members of Crimean Tatars’ community, who are unjustly imprisoned there as U.S. State Department reported.

“We have consistently called for the release of the 24 Ukrainian crewmembers detained by Russia following the November 2018 attack on Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait, as well as Oleh Sentsov and other political prisoners.  We welcome the announcement that they have returned home,” the State Department underlined.

The U.S. is glad to see the signs of the revitalization of the dialogue between Russia and Ukraine.

Related: Zelensky, Putin discuss prisoners swap and possible meeting in Normandy format

However, official Washington insists on the necessity to release all Ukrainian political prisoners by Kremlin, including Crimean Tatars who illegally kept in the Russian jails.

“President Zelenskyy has made clear his commitment to achieving a diplomatic solution to the Russia-instigated conflict in eastern Ukraine.  We support President Zelenskyy’s effort, and call on Russia to fulfill all of its commitments made under the Minsk agreements,” the American diplomatic department noted.

On September 7, the prisoners’ exchange took place between Kyiv and Moscow in 35 for 35 format.

Related: UN urges Ukraine, Russia to continue prisoners exchange

24 Ukrainian sailors and 11 political prisoners - already ex-political prisoners - captured by Russia over the past five years, returned to Ukraine. Faces of the released Ukrainian seamen, film maker Oleg Sentsov, journalist Roman Sushchenko, Crimean Tatar Edem Bekirov and the rest of former captives were seen in the crowd. 

 

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