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Russia insists on unhindered access to Russians kept in custody in Ukraine — ministry

September 09, 18:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"Regrettably, there is no a complete list of such prisoners as of yet", Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said
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MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. Russia insists on unimpeded consular access to all Russian citizens detained and kept in custody in Ukraine without due notification of Russian diplomatic and consular services, Russian Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation and Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday.

"Ukraine’s authorities must take real steps to establish all the fact of illegal detentions and imprisonment, conduct investigations and bring those responsible to justice," he said at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council.

The Russian diplomat reminded that the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine "covers not only the territory of Donbass but also other Ukrainian regions where the human rights situation requires keen attention."

"We expect active efforts on this track from the OSCE, including the SMM," he said. "Much has been said here about the freedom of movement of SMM monitors. Speaking here, in this hall, our Ukrainian colleague has recently said the Ukrainian authorities are ready to offer all-round assistance on that matter. We hope monitors will be granted access to all people held in custody by Ukrainian law enforcers."

"Regrettably, there is no a complete list of such prisoners as of yet - not all those reported missing have relatives, many are afraid to raise this topic as they fear persecution from Ukrainian law enforcers," Lukashevich said. "So far, the SMM can use the list compiled, for instance, by the Ukraine Salvation Committee, which has been put on the United States’ sanction list, obviously because of such concern over the fate of Ukrainian political prisoners. Washington appears to rely only on certain type of human rights activists."

"Since the very outbreak of the conflict, we have been pointing to the blatant cases of criminal outrage of nationalist groups and arbitrariness of law enforcers pandering them," the Russian diplomat said. "And only recently this problem has come into the focus of international non-government organizations and 13 political prisoners have been released from the so-called secret service of Ukraine’s security service.".

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