A small update from my previous post; last we heard, Nadiya Savchenko’s lawyer stated that there were “very good signals” that the Ukrainian pilot, who was recently sentenced to 22 years imprisonment by a Russian court, would be released through an exchange of prisoners with the Ukrainian government.
Now, the Kremlin has denied that is going to happen, and that Savchenko will serve her sentence in prison.
From Radio Free Europe:
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “With Savchenko, the situation is as simple and understandable as possible. Savchenko is a convict… She will serve her sentence.”
In excerpts from a televised interview published on March 26, Peskov denied any decision had been taken on Savchenko’s release or exchange.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Kyiv was ready to swap her for Russian prisoners.
Peskov said “so far, there are no such decisions” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Peskov acknowledged that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier raised Savchenko’s case on recent visits to Moscow.
However, he downplayed their comments, saying “Kerry did not come to pressure Putin over Savchenko.”
Savchenko was sentenced on March 22 after being convicted of involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine in 2014. She denies the charges.
Peskov’s interview was set to air later on March 26.
As always, keep an eye on the news for her.