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Kiev not to give up "Savchenko list" idea even if former pilot is released — Rada speaker

March 22, 23:48 UTC+3 KIEV
He added that Ukraine plans "to use possible additional legal grounds to release and return Nadezhda to Ukraine - for example, mechanisms of pardon or exchange"
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KIEV, March 22. /TASS/. The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, Vladimir Groisman, said Tuesday that even if former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko is released, official Kiev will still impose personal sanctions against those involved in her case.

"Even when Nadezhda is freed, Ukraine will not give up its initiative to approve ‘the Savchenko list’," Groisman wrote on Facebook.

He added that Ukraine plans "to use possible additional legal grounds to release and return Nadezhda to Ukraine - for example, mechanisms of pardon or exchange."

Earlier, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko voiced readiness to exchange Russian nationals Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov, detained in Ukraine, for Savchenko when the verdict to them is announced.

"I am ready to hand Russia two Russian servicemen detained on our territory for participation in armed aggression against Ukraine," Poroshenko said. "Court proceedings of their cases is at the final stage. Immediately after their completion, I am ready, by means of relevant procedures, to ensure their departure for the Russian Federation."

He said such an approach is in line with clause 6 of the Minsk Agreements - on exchange of "all for all."

Savchenko has been found guilty of the murder of two Russian journalists in Ukraine’s Lugansk Region in 2014, an attempt to kill civilians as well as border violation.

The materials of her case had been separated from the general case on Ukrainian servicemen committing genocide and using banned means and methods of war.

According to investigators, during combat operations near the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on June 17, 2014, Savchenko, who was an officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, from the location of the Aidar battalion - a paramilitary group of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry - in the vicinity of the village of Metallist secretly adjusted artillery fire on a section of the Lugansk People’s Republic militia's roadblock with civilians, including three Russian journalists.

As a result, VGTRK journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were killed.

Savchenko has not admitted her guilt, saying she had never killed unarmed people. However, she said she would not appeal the verdict.

The Donetsk city court of the Rostov Region on Tuesday, March 22 sentenced Savchenko to 22 years in a penal colony and a fine of 30,000 rubles ($450). She was found guilty of the murder of Kornelyuk and Voloshin, as well as an attempt to kill civilians and illegal crossing of the border with Russia.

The sentence takes effect in 10 days unless it is appealed.

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