On Nadiya Savchenko and other Ukrainian hostages held by Russia: Statement to the PC

The United States joins Ukraine and other participating States in expressing its deep concern over Russia’s continuing detention of Ukrainian citizens who were seized on Ukrainian territory and are being held hostage, in defiance of commitments made in Minsk.

We draw particular attention to the case of Ukrainian parliament member and delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Nadiya Savchenko.

On June 10, the Moscow City Court ruled to extend her detention until September 30. By the end of this period, she will have been detained for 15 months without any indication of when she will be tried.

In extending her detention, the judge refused to consider the defense’s appeal of a district court’s earlier decision not to allow Ms. Savchenko to attend the June meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Ms. Savchenko’s attorney noted that denying her participation violates PACE protocols – a precedent that should not be tolerated.

We call on Russia to immediately release Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, and all other Ukrainian hostages. Russia and the separatists it backs must uphold the commitments they made in Minsk, including by releasing all hostages.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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