On Nadiya Savchenko and other Ukrainian Hostages Held in Russia: Statement to the PC

The United States condemns again in the strongest possible terms the continued detention of Ukrainian citizens Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, and Oleksander Kolchenko by Russia.

The United States continues to closely monitor Ms. Savchenko’s trial. We note that Ms. Savchenko’s trial will resume later this month, and we expect that the court will allow her sister, Vera Savchenko, to testify during the trial.

Mr. Sentsov’s lawyer has stated that the Supreme Court of Russia is scheduled to hear an appeal from Mr. Sentsov on November 24. This is an opportunity for the Russian justice system to right itself consistent with its international obligations and overturn this miscarriage of justice.

Russia’s continued detention of these three hostages is also a violation of the commitments it has made, including under the Minsk Package of Measures in February, when Russia pledged it would “ensure release and exchange of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons.” We call upon the Russian Federation to adhere to all of its Minsk commitments.

Russia should also adhere to international law regarding the treatment in detention of Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, and Oleksander Kolchenko. The charges against all three hostages should be dismissed, and all three hostages should be released immediately and allowed to return to Ukraine – along with all other Ukrainians held by Russia for politically-motivated reasons.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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