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Resolution on ‘Savchenko list’ Ukraine’s ill-service to PACE - opinion

April 22, 1:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The document recommends the member-states to compile lists of persons liable to individual sanctions, the way this was done in case of the Magnitsky list
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MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. Ukrainian delegation did an ill-service to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe when it insisted on a resolution regarding the so-called ‘Savchenko list’, the chief of the foreign policy committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, Konstantin Kosachov told TASS on Thursday in a comment on the decision that PACE took at a session in Strasbourg.

"From the very start the Ukrainians have used PACE as a tool for putting pressure on Russia across the whole spectrum of their own agenda," Kosachov said. "The result is well known. PACE succumbed to the emotions fanned by Kiev and goaded itself into an impasse by its overly tough resolutions, thus isolating itself from the peace process in Ukraine."

"The current resolution is one more ill-service to PACE on the part of the Ukrainian delegation and its patrons," he went on. "It won’t play any constructive role in the already complicated situation and won’t help resolve the Savchenko case in any way."

On March 22, a court in southern Russia passed a guilty verdict on the controversial former Ukrainian army officer and explicit ultra-right extremist Nadezhda (Nadiya) Savchenko, who was found guilty of involvement in the murder of Russian TV reporters Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin in 2014. She was sentenced to 22 years in jail.

An eleventh-hour resolution adopted by PACE said Council of Europe member-states should draw up a 'Savchenko list' of sanctions if Russia does not set free the woman who acted as an aimer of the Aidar Ukrainian neo-Nazi battalion.

A proposal to draft a document of the kind cropped up on the agenda of the session at the very last moment. It was made right before the voting by Nellija Kleinberga, a Latvian MP and PACE's rapporteur on the situation in Ukraine.

PACE proposes to draw up the sanction lists if Savchenko, who is known to have made public confessions in front of a TV camera about killing people during the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine, is not set free immediately.

The document recommends the member-states to compile lists of persons liable to individual sanctions, the way this was done in case of the Magnitsky list.

However, officials at PACE Secretariat told TASS the case in hand was merely a call issued by the assembly while the drawing up of each specific list lay within the scope of powers of each and every member state of the Council of Europe.

In addition, the officials admitted there was no clarity yet concerning the ways of implementation of this initiative. In particular, it was unclear who would take charge of the process and what personalities might find themselves on these lists.

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