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Minsk Protocol not applicable to Ukrainian law offenders detained in Russia — FM

September 11, 2014, 18:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, September 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian citizens detained in Russia for breaking its laws do not fall under the Minsk Protocol, signed by Kiev and independence-seeking south-eastern regions of Ukraine, which calls for an exchange of prisoners of war, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

“I see no relation to the Minsk Protocol which stipulates the exchange of prisoners of war who were seized by the parties during armed hostilities. But I have no precise information on that score,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said, referring to Nadezhda Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov, who have been detained in Russia on charges of involvement in terrorist activities.

He said the secretary-general of the Council of Europe had inquired about these issues during his visit to Russia and “we told him frankly that the investigation was underway with regard to these persons and that they had been charged with serious offences which will be examined in accordance with our legislation,” Lukashevich said.

Savchenko has been implicated in the killing of Russian journalists in Ukraine. In late August, a court in Voronezh extended her custody until October 30. The counsel for the defence contested this ruling.

On July 9, Russia’s Investigative Committee charged Savchenko with being an accomplice in the killing of two Russian VGTRK television company reporters. She was detained in Russia and put in custody.

Investigators say that during armed hostilities in Lugansk in June Savchenko reported the whereabouts of the Russian journalists to gunmen who then fired mortars at the place where the reporters were staying, killing both of them.

Sentsov, Ukrainian film director and playwright, was detained on May 11, 2014 by the Russian Federal Security Service on suspicions of involvement in terrorist activities.

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