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Kremlin rejects Poroshenko's claims Putin promised to free or swap Savchenko

March 23, 2016, 13:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Ukrainian leader referred to an alleged promise of Putin to hand over Savchenko to Ukraine

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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko


MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. The Kremlin is not confirming a statement of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has allegedly promised to release or exchange Ukrainian ex-pilot Nadezhda Savchenko after the trial of her ends in Russia.

"I do not know about such agreements," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Peskov reminded that in his statement on Tuesday he said that Russia will abide by its national legislation in any case. "In all other respects only the president can make such a decision. What decision there will follow I cannot say for now."

Poroshenko made a special statement on Tuesday after a sentence in the Savchenko case was read out to declare the readiness to exchange her for two Russians standing trial in Ukraine - Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Aleksandrov - as soon as their own court trials were over. He referred to an alleged promise of Putin to hand over Savchenko to Ukraine. Poroshenko said, though, that Ukraine would never recognize the sentence passed on Savchenko as fair.

On Tuesday, the Donetsk City Court in southern Russia’s Rostov Region found Savchenko guilty of complicity in the murder of Russian journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin and of illegal border crossing and sentenced her to 22 years in jail and a fine of 30,000 rubles ($440). Savchenko earlier said she would neither recognize nor appeal the sentence.

Russia’s Alexander Aleksandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev were detained by Ukrainian military on May 16, 2015 near the community of Shchastye, the Lugansk region. They are charged with illegal border crossing, illegal carrying of firearms and involvement in a terrorist organization. They are faced with a life term. The next court session is due April 5.

Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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