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Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine on "Abduction and illegal detention of Ukrainian citizens by the Russian Federation”
15 April 2016 13:16

Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 14 April 2016

Mr. Chairman,

The Delegation of Ukraine takes the floor again to express its resolute protest against the ongoing unlawful actions of the Russian Federation concerning people’s deputy of Ukraine and PACE member Nadiya Savchenko and other Ukrainian citizens, who had been abducted from the territory of Ukraine and remain illegally detained by the Russian authorities.

Taking forward the politically-motivated cases against Ukrainian citizens, Russia acted in contravention of the norms of international law, OSCE commitments and the Minsk agreements, as well as ignored numerous appeals by international organizations, states and civil society.

On 06 April, Nadiya Savchenko went on a dry hunger strike to protest against the injustice and unlawful verdict enjailing her for 22 years. Her fragile health is further deteriorating. In the meantime, the Russian authorities continue to refuse a visit by Ukrainian doctors to examine Nadiya Savchenko, would not share her blood tests with the lawyers and relatives, thus attempting to conceal her real health conditions. Deeply concerned about Ms. Savchenko’s health on the 9th day of dry hunger strike, we consider such behavior of the Russian authorities as a conscious imposition of a de facto death sentence against a Ukrainian citizen.

We once again draw attention to the extreme graveness of the situation, which endangers the life of Nadiya Savchenko and stress that Russia bears the entire responsibility for her life and health. We urge Russia to immediately allow visits of Ukrainian doctors to Nadiya Savchenko.

We urge Russia to fulfill its Minsk commitments and to immediately release Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko and others, who are illegally kept behind bars in Russia. This is one of the Minsk commitments undertaken by Russia which, just like other, remains unimplemented by the Russian authorities. We remind that it also remains Russia’s legal obligation under the 1949 General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe to release Ms.Savchenko as a person enjoying diplomatic immunities as a PACE member. 

It is clear to Ukraine that everyone responsible for persecution of Ukrainian citizens – political prisoners in Russia, must bear responsibility and face international restrictions. We rely on participating States’ solidarity in this regard, as only concerted international efforts can stimulate observance of basic human rights and thus prevent human tragedies.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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