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Kremlin heard Kiev’s statement on Savchenko but makes no comments

March 10, 2016, 13:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW MOSCOW March, 10. /TASS

Russian presidential press-secretary Dmitry Peskov said Kremlin is aware of Ukrainian president's statement on Savchenko’s exchange

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Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© Ilya Pitalev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. The Kremlin has heard Poroshenko’s statement regarding the Savchenko case but has no comments to offer, Russian presidential press-secretary Dmitry Peskov has said.

"Certainly, we took note of yesterday’s statement by the Ukrainian president. I am not prepared to say more," Peskov told the media.

"We also noticed yesterday’s statement by Nadezhda Savchenko’s lawyer she had ended hunger-strike," he added.

Peskov recalled that Savchenko was standing trial. He explained he was not in the position to make comments.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko on Wednesday said he would be prepared for Savchenko’s exchange.

"As Ukraine’s president I would be ready to use my constitutional right and exchange Savchenko, if need be, and bring her back home," Poroshenko said.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that there had been no talks on Savchenko’s exchange yet and could not be any until the court pronounced its verdict.

"There have been no talks on Savchenko’s exchange. Nor are there any at the moment. There could have been none in theory or in practice before a court ruling," she said.

Savchenko is charged on three counts - murder, attempted murder and illegal border crossing. The prosecution argues that on June 17, 2014 Savchenko was in the area controlled by the para-military battalion Aidar near the Metallist community, the Lugansk Region, from where she adjusted artillery fire against a roadblock held by militias of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic and a group of civilians present there, including three Russian television journalists. The explosion of a mortar shell killed two of them - Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin.

The court is to read out a verdict on March 21-22. The prosecutor wants her sentenced to 23 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 rubles.

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