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Peskov calls statement that Savchenko was recruited by RF intelligence "sheer nonsense"

Nadezhda Savchenko is suspected of colluding to change the constitutional system by force and plotting an attempt on the life of the Ukrainian president
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. The statement that the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) deputy Nadezhda Savchenko was recruited by intelligence services while imprisoned in Russia, is "sheer nonsense," the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the Mir 24 TV channel broadcast on Saturday.

"This is probably a suggestion offered by the British, they like such theories. Of course, it is sheer nonsense. Savchenko is an internal affair of Ukraine," he said.

Peskov also wondered whether "European leaders will make any announcement requesting Kiev to free Savchenko."

On March 15, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko submitted a motion to the country’s parliament about the fact that Savchenko is suspected of committing a number of criminal offenses, including planning a terrorist attack in the parliament’s session hall. On March 22, Ukrainian MPs stripped Savchenko of immunity and voted for prosecuting and putting her in police custody. Shortly after, she was taken into a pre-trial detention center.

Savchenko is suspected of "colluding to change the constitutional system by force, plotting an attempt on the life of the Ukrainian president, conspiring to carry out a terror attack, assisting the activities of the terrorist organization, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), carrying, acquiring and transferring firearms."

The former pilot Savchenko had taken an active part in Kiev’s military operation in eastern Ukraine and was detained in Russia in June 2014. She had been sentenced in Russia to 22 years in jail over complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine. She spent nearly two years in Russian custody and was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 25, 2016. Savchenko then returned to Kiev and began her active political career as a Ukrainian MP. She fell into disfavor of Ukraine’s authorities after her private trips to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine and talks with their leadership.