On the Abduction and Detention of Ukrainian Citizens by Russia: Statement to the PC

The United States condemns the continued detention of Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Oleksander Kolchenko, Stanislav Klikh, Mykola Karpyuk, and all other Ukrainians unjustly held in Russia.

The United States continues to monitor Ms. Savchenko’s trial closely. We understand that documents assembled by the Ukrainian government for consideration by the court as evidence in the proceedings have not yet been accepted by the court. No trial should proceed without due consideration of all legal evidence at hand. We expect that evidence and testimony presented in support of Ms. Savchenko’s defense will be taken into consideration by the court under the same conditions as any evidence against her in accordance with requisite fair trial guarantees. Nevertheless, we must note that the Russian authorities have shown contempt for their obligations to ensure fair, equal and transparent process from the beginning of this case, starting with their abduction of Ms. Savchenko from Ukraine in June 2014.

The United States calls on the Russian Federation to investigate promptly and impartially allegations of torture made by Ukrainian citizens Stanislav Klikh and Mykola Karpyuk, who are the subject of a show trial in Chechnya based on charges that they killed Russians during the first Chechen conflict.

These cases raise serious concerns about the rule of law and Russia’s respect for its international obligations. The charges against Ukrainian citizens held for politically-motivated reasons should be dismissed. These individuals should be released immediately and allowed to return to Ukraine.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna