Ukraine should agree on the offer of Russia to release captured sailors but not take the political position, which harms people as Chairman of the Political Council of Opposition Platform – For Life Viktor Medvedchuk stated in Strasbourg under the invitation of the members of the European Parliament at the presentation of his peace plan on settlement of the situation in Donbas.
“Considering the sailors, I think, using the football terms, the ball is on the side of Ukraine. There is a note of the Foreign Ministry of Russia, which offers to release the sailors, 24 people and return their home to the families under the obligation to fulfill the judicial actions and investigative actions. I believe that her position of Ukraine should be unambiguous: everything for the release of these people had to be done, return them home and only then fulfill the obligations – participate in the judicial and investigative actions – but only when they would be at home but not take a purely political position to the detriment of the families, people by not releasing them but exiling them for staying in the place of detention in fact,” Medvedchuk noted.
According to him, everything depends on the Ukrainian authority now as Russia is ready to repeat its offer.
“It is not the issue of exchange as the Russian authorities are ready to release them and I know for a fact it not only from the information of the note of the Foreign Ministry of Russia but it was repeatedly voiced at the negotiations; moreover, the Russia side, Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zakharova stated that despite the fact that they got the refusal by a note of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine, this issue may be reconsidered, if Ukraine changes its position. I believe that the authorities of Ukraine should change their position; it is necessary to provide the obligation in the participation in the investigative and judicial actions and return people to home,” Medvedchuk said.
On May 25, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea obliged Russia to immediately release 24 Ukrainian sailors and three vessels, which were captured in Kerch Strait, November 2018 and provide their return to Ukraine.
Earlier President of Ukraine Zelensky stated that Foreign Ministry does not agree its actions with him. Particularly, the president of Ukraine mentioned the protest of the Foreign Ministry against Russia’s note on return of the Ukrainian sailors.
According to Viktor Medvedchuk, Kyiv would be able to organize the exchange in all for all format with leaders of occupied Donbas during 3-5 days if Ukraine had such desire. Meanwhile, Medvedchuk released 398 people.