MOSCOW, April 28 /TASS/. The Russian Justice Ministry has clarified that it is considering a request of Ukraine’s Justice Ministry to provide documents on the extradition of the former Ukrainian military servicewoman Nadezhda Savchenko, the Russian Justice Ministry said on Thursday in response to a TASS inquiry.
"The Russian Justice Ministry is currently considering the Ukrainian Justice Ministry’s facsimile request dated April 19, 2016 on the provision on the basis of Article 6 of the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons of the documents necessary for considering the issue of transfer of sentenced N.V. Savchenko to Ukraine for further serving her prison term", the Justice Ministry said.
The Russian Justice Ministry also said that "the timeframe of the consideration of requests of the competent authorities of States Parties to the Convention is not specified by this international treaty."
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 Savchenko trial began on September 22, 2015.
As the court said in its verdict, Savchenko had "the skills of military training and experience in military actions in Iraq" and "made her own choice while on a holiday to participate in the armed conflict in Ukraine’s south-east and came to the Aidar battalion under commander Sergey Melnichuk, which was located in the town of Schastye in the Lugansk region."
As Savchenko said earlier, she didn’t recognize the court’s verdict but wouldn’t appeal against it.
Ukrainian President Poroshenko has said he is ready to swap Savchenko for two Russian nationals Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev detained by Ukraine’s army last year.
Kiev’s Goloseyevsky District Court ruled on April 18 to find Yerofeyev and Aleksandrov guilty of several counts, including terrorism, and sentenced them to 14 years in jail with confiscation of their property.
Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev were captured by Ukraine’s forces on May 16, 2015, in the Lugansk region, in eastern Ukraine. 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.
Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov said on March 25 that the swap of convicted Ukrainian fire controller Savchenko for the two Russian nationals was theoretically possible but only on decision by President of Russia Putin. The Kremlin chief of staff also said that the Savchenko case had no relation to the Minsk accords on the ceasefire and political settlement in south-east Ukraine.
Savchenko is currently held at the Novocherkassk detention facility.