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

The United States reiterates its deep concern over Russia’s continued detention of Ukrainian citizens who were seized on Ukrainian territory and are being held hostage in defiance of Russia’s Minsk commitments.

We are particularly concerned by the case of Ukrainian parliament member and delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Nadiya Savchenko.

Ms. Savchenko was captured by Russia-backed separatists over a year ago, and then taken to Russia, where she has languished in prison ever since.

On July 1, the Moscow City Court upheld a previous decision to extend her detention until September 30, despite the apparent lack of a “compelling reason” to extend a defendant’s pre-trial detention past one year as required by Russian law.

By the end of September, Ms. Savchenko will have been detained for 15 months without any indication of when she will be tried. This is unacceptable.

We call attention to efforts by Ukrainian civil society to highlight the plight of at least 10 Ukrainians being subjected to politically motivated prosecutions in Russia. In several cases, Ukrainian consular officials have been denied access to these individuals.

We call on Russia to immediately release Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Oleksander Kolchenko, Yuriy Soloshenko, and all other Ukrainian hostages and to uphold the commitments it made in Minsk.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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