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Zelensky pardons Ukrainian mentioned in list for possible exchange with Russia

Russia-born Vyacheslav Vysotsky had been convicted of high treason and espionage for an unidentified foreign state
20:32, 9 June 2019

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
president.gov.ua

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree pardoning 72-year-old, Russia-born Vyacheslav Vysotsky, Radio Liberty reports.

Vysotsky, a Ukrainian citizen, had been convicted of high treason and espionage for an unidentified foreign state and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The Ukrainian government had included him on a list of people potentially to be exchanged for Ukrainian nationals held in Russia.

On June 6, Zelensky's representative to the contact group on regulating the war in parts of eastern Ukraine, former President Leonid Kuchma, said the issue of a prisoner exchange with Russia had been discussed.

"Both sides need to take initial steps," Kuchma said.

Related: Servant of the People party reveals top ten candidates for snap parliamentary elections

Earlier, Zelensky thanked the MPs of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for not approving his suggested bills and for carrying on “stopping for a whole new low”. Volodymyr Zelensky said that in his video address that was broadcasted by 112 Ukraine TV channel.

In his speech, Zelensky said that after the dissolution of the parliament, he thought whether this decision was not a wrong one.

“A president should be objective. Thus, he should praise one, as long as there is a reason. I want to praise and to thank the Verkhovna Rada with all my heart. Are you surprised? I will explain. After the dissolution of the parliament, I had thoughts, and... what if I was wrong? Perhaps I dissolved them in vain? Perhaps the MPs are ready to work and to make important decisions? What have been MPs doing these days? They kept the majority, kept the immunity, kept the old ministers, kept the old law enforcers in their positions, and kept the opportunity not to be responsible for illicit enrichment,” Zelensky said.

Related: Zelensky held closed meeting with Ukrainian journalists in the woods (photos)

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