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British Foreign Office calls on Russia to release Ukrainian female pilot

June 18, 2015, 0:47 UTC+3 LONDON
On June 10 the Moscow city court extended Savchenko’s detention until September 30
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LONDON, June 17. /TASS/. The United Kingdom has called on Russia to free the former Ukrainian female pilot, Nadezhda Savchenko accused of involvement with the killing of Russian reporters near the city of Lugansk in eastern Ukraine in June last year, Britain’s Minister for Europe at the Foreign Office David Lidington wrote in a letter to Savchenko, the extracts of which the Reuters news agency published on Wednesday.

"During 12 months of incarceration you have shown immense courage and resilience," Lidington wrote. "The British government calls on Russia to live up to all of its international commitments and to its commitments under the Russian constitution and to release you immediately."

Meanwhile, a TASS correspondent has not received any reply at the Foreign Office’s press service about whether the British government had delivered its appeal to free Savchenko to the Russian authorities through official channels and if the answer is yes how and when it happened.

On Wednesday the European Union External Action Service called on Russia to release Savchenko, the spokesperson for the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Maja Kocijancic, said in a statement.

On June 10 the Moscow city court extended Savchenko’s detention until September 30.

Savchenko is suspected of complicity in the killing of two Russian TV reporters, Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, near Lugansk in July 2014. Investigators say that during combat operations on the city outskirts last summer, Savchenko, who was a gunner for a Mil Mi-24 helicopter gunship, joined the Aidar volunteer battalion - a paramilitary group of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry - and reported the coordinates of the Russian TV team to the Ukrainian troops that opened mortar fire on Kornelyuk and Voloshin killing them.

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