KIEV, September 25 /TASS/. A group of Verkhovna Rada’s deputies and a sister of the former Ukrainian serviceman, Nadezhda Savchenko, have asked Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko to exchange the two Ukrainian citizens convicted in Russia to Russians Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev who are pending trial in Ukraine, the press service of the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party said on Friday.
The petition was signed by deputies from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party; Ukraine’s People’s Front and the Self Help (Samopomich) political party.
Ukrainian servicemen detained Russians Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev near the Schastye village, Luhansk region, on May 16. The Ukrainian authorities claim that both men are Russian army servicemen. The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on May 18 that Alexandrov and Yerofeyev were not serving in the Russian Armed Forces at the time of detention.
"Russian nationals Alexandrov and Yerofeyev whom Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) detained in the Luhansk region were not the Russian army servicemen at the time of the detention," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The court of Kiev’s Shevchenkovsky district arrested Alexandrov and Yerofeyev on May 22. A preliminary court hearing is to take place on September 29.
Prior to that, Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov and the former Ukrainian serviceman, Nadezhda Savchenko, had faced trial in Russia. Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a conspiracy to stage a terrorist act in Crimea.
The trial of Nadezhda Savchenko accused of involvement in murdering two Russian journalists in the Luhansk region in the summer of 2014 is to resume in Russia’s Rostov region on September 29.