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Lavrov: Savchenko's behaviour at court made Ukrainian doctors' visit impossible

March 09, 19:46 UTC+3
As for the former Ukrainian pilot's health condition, it gives no cause for concern, Russia's top diplomat told following a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart
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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, March 9. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin that insolent behavior of the former Ukrainian soldier Nadezhda Savchenko in court made the Ukrainian doctors' visit to her impossible, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday after the telephone talk requested by the Ukrainian side.

Klimkin raised a question about a visit of Ukrainian doctors to Savchenko for a medical examination, the statement said.

"Klimkin was told that the Russian side had taken steps to grant a petition on Ukrainian doctors’ visit to Savchenko as an exception, proceeding from principles of humanism," it reads.

"A judge of the Donetsk city court [in southern Russia — TASS], where the criminal case against Savchenko is being heard, was going to permit Ukrainian physicians to visit the defendant on March 9," the ministry said. "However, Savchenko's defiant conduct during the hearing and her abusive remarks towards the court have changed the situation, making such a visit impossible."

"As a result, the judge ruled the defendant should be denied any visits until the verdict is read on March 21," the foreign ministry said. "As for Savchenko’s health, which is a topic of concern for Ukrainian and Western politicians and journalists, it is not a cause for worry."

"Savchenko feels well and does exercise, being under constant supervision of Russian doctors," the ministry said.

Savchenko, 34, who has been held in Russian custody since July 2014, already went on hunger strike for 83 days last March.

Russia’s prosecutor has called for a 23-year prison term and a fine of 100,000 rubles ($1,400) for Savchenko. She was charged with murder, attempted murder and illegal border crossing.

Russia’s investigators say Savchenko, the gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter, joined the Aidar militant battalion and in June 2014 conducted covert surveillance and direction of artillery bombarding targeting a checkpoint in the much-troubled Lugansk region. The settlement was full of civilians, including three Russian journalists.

Two Russian journalists — Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin — from the All-Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (VGTRK) died in the shelling.

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