The Ukrainian delegation did not get any offers form the American side concerning possible negotiations with Russia on release of Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov during the visit to the U.S., as Iryna Gerashchenko, Verkhovna Rada Vice Speaker, wrote on Facebook.
“Speaking about rumors on possible talks between the Americans and the Russians on Sentsov’s exchange for Russian criminals, during the visit to the U.S. and negotiations with the American officials, we did not receive such information. I will remind you that Russians were spreading such rumors in Savchenko’s case as well, as if they were negotiating with Americans on her exchange for Bout (Viktor, - ed.). But these were just rumors,” Gerashchenko stated.
According to the Vice-Speaker, she cannot comment the information about a possible exchange of Oleg Sentsov as she has no information on this.
Earlier we reported Russia was ready to exchange the Ukrainian director and political prisoner Oleg Sentsov for the Russians convicted in the US Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko, as well as Maria Butina, who was under arrest.
Viktor Bout is a Russian entrepreneur, convicted in 2012 in the United States for 25 years in prison for intending to illegally trade in arms and support terrorism. Konstantin Yaroshenko was arrested on May 28, 2010 in Liberia by officers of the republic's special services on charges of preparing for transportation of a large batch of cocaine. Then the pilot was deported to the United States. On September 7, 2011, the US Court for the Southern District of New York City prepared Yaroshenko to 20 years in prison, finding him guilty of conspiracy to smuggle a large consignment of drugs, some of which were destined for sale in the United States.
On July 15, 2018 a Russian citizen Maria Butina was detained in Washington on suspicion of trying to influence US policy on the orders of a high-ranking official from the Kremlin. She was officially charged on two counts - in collusion with the purpose of working as a foreign agent and in acting as a foreign agent without proper registration.
Earlier President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko claimed the necessity to make more efforts to release Ukrainian political prisoners Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh during his speech at UNGA.
As we reported earlier, Oleg Sentsov, Ukrainian political prisoner announced a hunger strike in May 2014, demanding to release him and the rest of Ukrainian political prisoners illegally kept by the Kremlin. Sentsov already survived three health crisis; the medics warn that the fourth one, which might involve the breakdown of the body's internal organs, could begin anytime.
The native of Crimea, film director, and political activist, Sentsov was illegally detained in Crimea in 2014, then taken to Russia. They judged him and sentenced him to 20 years of imprisonment at a high-security penal colony. The prosecutors charged Sentsov with preparing terrorist acts in occupied Crimea. Sentsov denies his guilt. Ukraine's government, common citizens and the international society - politicians, artists, public figures - urge the Kremlin to release him.