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Putin, Poroshenko discuss settlement in Ukraine, Savchenko

April 19, 2016, 0:01 UTC+3

The presidents "discussed the settlement in Ukraine’s southeast, current issues of bilateral relations

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© Alexei Nikolsky/TASS

MOSCOW, April 18./TASS/. The presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Pyotr Poroshenko, had a telephone conversation on Monday, discussing the situation in Ukraine, as well as Ukraine’s Nadezhda Savchenko, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The presidents "discussed the settlement in Ukraine’s southeast, current issues of bilateral relations. They also touched upon the issue of Nadezhda Savchenko as well as the fate of Russian nationals Alexandrov and Yerofeyev," he said. Peskov said the presidents had agreed that Ukraine’s consul general in Rostov-on-Don could shortly visit Savchenko.

On March 22, 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).

Russia’s Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev Yevgeny Yerofeyev were detained by Ukrainian military on May 16, 2015 near the community of Shchastye, the Lugansk region. They were charged with illegal border crossing, illegal carrying of firearms and involvement in a terrorist organization.

Kiev claims the detainees are Russian servicemen. However, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russians "were not active servicemen of Russia’s Armed Forces at the moment of their detention."

Earlier on Monday, Kiev’s Goloseyevsky District Court found Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev guilty on several counts, including terrorism, and sentenced them to 14 years in jail with confiscation of their property. The two Russian citizens are accused of "having committed a terrorist act and conducting an aggressive war on the territory of Ukraine." Both pleaded not guilty on any of the charges.

According to their lawyers, Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev should be considered prisoners of war as both of them were members of the people’s militia of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) when they were detained. The lawyers also demand that the trial be organized in full compliance with the Geneva Convention.

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