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KIEV, May 29. /TASS/. Ukraine’s ministry of justice is ready to take Ukrainian citizens from Crimea who had been sentenced to prison terms before Crimea’s reunification with Russia, Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister Natalya Sevastyanova said on Sunday.
"I can say it publicly that we will do our best to take all who are kept in custody there (in Crimea)," she told the Inter television channel.
Earlier, on May 26, Russian human rights ombudsperson Tatiana Moskalkova asked Ukraine’s human rights commissioner about the citizens of the country who are still held in Crimea and who "are not brought back by their motherland."
"They committed crimes as Ukrainian citizens on the former territory of Ukraine. Now there are no grounds to keep them on the territory of another state," she said. "It is very important for us to send them back home. This is an issue of humanism, socialization and just law from the point of view of custody of convicts."
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.