Boxing Day on Red Square sets new Guinness recordSport July 23, 8:33
Joseph Dunford says Russia most military capable country of those posing threat to USWorld July 23, 4:57
Russia’s US envoy Kislyak steps down, his deputy to act as Charg d'Affaires ad interimRussian Politics & Diplomacy July 23, 1:33
Putin greets KamAZ-Master team - winner of Silk Way RallySport July 22, 15:20
Agreements on East Ghouta zone in Syria signed - Defense MinistryWorld July 22, 14:20
PAK FA offers practically unlimited opportunities to pilot - commanderMilitary & Defense July 22, 11:29
Ukraine's National Broadcasting Board issues fine to Public Radio for 0% Urkainian songsWorld July 22, 5:39
Femen movement activists faces 5 years in jail for trying to frustrate summit meetingWorld July 22, 4:38
Russian Deputy PM dismisses allegations he will arrive in Moldova on warplaneRussian Politics & Diplomacy July 22, 2:46
MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. A high-ranking source in Moscow rejected reports on Thursday that the agreement on releasing former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko was reached during a phone conversation of the Normandy Four group leaders.
"A number of Western officials commenting on the Savchenko swap for two Russians said that the agreement was allegedly reached during a phone conversation of leaders of the Normandy Four countries," the source told TASS.
"This is not true. As it was announced yesterday, the decision had been worked out long before that and made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko," he said.
During the phone conversation held early on Tuesday the other members of the Normandy Four group (Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia) "were just informed about the decision that had been already made," the source added.
"The statements that this exchange was carried out as part of implementing the Minsk agreements [that envisage release of prisoners - TASS] do not correspond to reality either," the source stressed.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to pardon Savchenko, who was sentenced in Russia to 22 years in jail for killing two Russian journalists. The former pilot, who had been in Russian custody for nearly two years, was taken to Kiev onboard the Ukrainian presidential plane on the same day.
As a return move, Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko signed a decree to pardon two former Russian servicemen Alexander Aleksandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, who were captured by Ukraine’s forces in May last year and sentenced in Ukraine to 14 years in jail. They also arrived in Moscow on Wednesday.