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Russian, Ukrainian human rights chiefs to hash over citizen rights' protection in Kiev

Ukrainian ombudsperson said she will discuss detainees’ release with her Russian counterpart
Russian Ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova  Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
Russian Ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova
© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, July 15. /TASS/. Russian Ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova will discuss the issues of mutual protection of citizens' rights and dialogue between human rights bodies with her Ukrainian counterpart Lyudmila Denisova, Moskalkova’s official website reported on Monday.

The announcement pointed out that the Russian Ombudswoman arrived in Kiev on July 15 to support RIA Novosti Ukraine Editor-in-Chief Kirill Vyshinsky at his hearing.

"In the course of the visit to Kiev, a meeting of the Russian Ombudswoman with Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova is planned. Tatyana Moskalkova will discuss the issues of protecting the rights of Russian citizens in Ukraine and Ukrainians in Russia with her Ukrainian colleague, as well as maintaining the dialogue between the human rights bodies of the two countries," the website reads.

The two human rights commissioners will address the issue of detainees' release. "My meeting with Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson Tatyana Moskalkova has begun. We will discuss the possible release of Ukrainian nationals in custody in Russia and Russian nationals in custody in Ukraine. We will also assess the possibility of resolving humanitarian issues, including the provision of medical and other kinds of assistance to people in custody," Denisova said.

As many as 50 Russians remain detained in Ukraine, Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson Tatyana Moskalkova said at a joint briefing with her Ukrainian counterpart in Kiev on Monday.

"Changes have taken place over the course of the year since we exchanged the lists we are guided by," she said. "Today, we did some preparatory work on these lists," Moskalkova noted, adding that "our list includes 50 Russian nationals, 27 of whom are in custody." The commissioners of Ukraine and Russia will exchange the lists of detainees on July 16, as it was announced following a meeting between them on Monday in Kiev.

"We have agreed to exchange lists of convicts or those on trial," Denisova told a joint press conference. According to her, it will happen as soon as on Tuesday.

In turn, Moskalkova clarified that the parties had agreed "to fully review these lists." "Tomorrow in my office in Moscow, we will continue this work for the sake of the people," she added.

According to Moskalkova, courts of appeal were yet to make decisions on five Russian detainees; courts of first instance haven’t yet announced their rulings in another eight cases; and a court ruling in one case hasn’t entered into force yet. Another 23 Russians on the list were released on their own recognizance.

"We will verify the lists of people detained in Russia and Ukraine and hold all necessary meetings to develop mechanisms to bring them all home," Moskalkova pointed out, adding that the two countries’ ombudspersons would continue their work in Moscow on Tuesday.

The Russian human rights ombudsperson was content with the efforts to step up activities to release detainees. "It is very important that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky held a telephone conversation," she noted. "As far as we are concerned, this paves the way for more effective activities to find solutions and help people," Moskalkova emphasized.

The meeting between Moskalkova and Denisova took place today at 12pm, in the office of the Ukrainian Ombudswoman, Ukrainian media reported. The parties discussed the mechanism of releasing Ukrainian citizens in Russia and Russian citizens in Ukraine. 

"I would like to clarify that we have discussed the mechanism of bringing back Ukrainian citizens who are currently in Russia and in Crimea and the mechanism of releasing Russian citizens who are imprisoned in Ukraine," the Ukrainian Ombudswoman said.

According to her, the meeting also focused on "the possibilities of solving humanitarian issues regarding medical help for certain imprisoned citizens." Particularly, it is about independent doctors having access to examine them.