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MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made no decision yet on the possibility of handing over Ukrainian ex-pilot Nadezhda Savchenko to Kiev, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
"No. As of today, no," Peskov told reporters, refusing to answer the question on the possible timeframe for the president’s decision on Savchenko.
"I would not do this. I say once again: broad public discussions are hardly appropriate here," he said.
Peskov added that no consultations with the Ukrainian leadership on Savchenko’s handover are scheduled in the Kremlin on Tuesday.
The Donetsk City Court in Russia’s southern Rostov Region ruled on March 22 to find former Ukrainian pilot Savchenko guilty of directing the pro-Kiev forces’ artillery fire in south-east Ukraine that had killed Russian journalists. She was found guilty of killing Russia’s VGTRK Media Group journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin and illegally crossing the Russian border.
She was sentenced to 22 years in a general-security penal colony and a fine of 30,000 rubles ($440). The sentence came into effect on Tuesday. Savchenko denied any wrongdoing and didn’t recognize the Russian court’s verdict. However, the Ukrainian said she would not appeal the sentence.
Currently, Savchenko is being kept in a detention center in Novocherkassk, southern Russia, and so far it is not known where she will be transferred to serve her sentence. Her lawyers say that the Ukrainian authorities are taking efforts to have her transferred to Ukraine. They don’t rule out she could be swapped for Russian citizens convicted in Ukraine.