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Russian diplomat mocks Savchenko’s expulsion from Ukraine’s delegation to PACE

December 22, 2016, 18:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The diplomat recalled that Savchenko’s status as a PACE delegate was Kiev’s key argument for releasing her from Russia’s custody

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MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has laughed at policy of Ukraine’s authorities and the expulsion of MP Nadezhda Savchenko from Ukraine’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The diplomat recalled that Savchenko’s status as a PACE delegate was Kiev’s key argument for releasing her from Russia’s custody. However, after the Ukrainian was freed and started fulfilling her duties the Kiev officials decided to remove her from the post.

"We all remember well that the demand to release Savchenko from Russia’s jail was based on the assertion that she was a PACE member. And PACE itself very actively promoted this legend," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.

"You understand the trick, don’t you? Her election as a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada in absentia and illegitimate inclusion to Ukraine’s delegation to PACE were the main driving force of the media and political campaign of Kiev at that moment," she said.

"And when Savchenko returned alive and kicking and started really implementing her duties, she was expelled," Zakharova stressed.

PACE is silent about the news, she added. "Why is it so? Have they run out of paint for posters? Or maybe no money has been allocated for the orchestrated actions? Or maybe everyone is at a loss over Ukrainian democracy?" she said.

Savchenko was expelled from Ukraine’s delegation to PACE at the meeting of the parliament on Thursday. The formal reason for the expulsion is that Savchenko was elected to PACE in order to be released from Russian custody and the Ukrainian MPs were forced to violate the quota principle on forming the list of delegates from factions.

On Tuesday, Savchenko was officially excluded from Yulia Tymoshenko’s All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" or Batkivshchyna faction for inconsistency of her activity with the party’s program. The decision was taken at Batkivshchyna’s meeting on December 16. In late October, Savchenko wrote a statement on her decision to leave the party. Savchenko was elected to the Verkhovna Rada as its member in 2014.

Savchenko fell into disfavor of Ukraine’s authorities after her private trip to Minsk and her talks with the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, earlier this month to discuss the prisoner swap.

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