On Nadiya Savchenko and Other Ukrainians Held by Russia: Statement to the PC

People shout slogans in support of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko during a rally outside the Russian Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, March 6, 2016. (AP/Sergei Chuzavkov)

The United States once again calls on the Russian Federation to release immediately all Ukrainian detainees held in Russia for political reasons. We remain especially concerned about Nadiya Savchenko, and urge the Russian Federation to release her without delay. Today marks the ninth day of Ms. Savchenko’s dry hunger strike. Ms. Savchenko’s health and her very life are on the line — we reiterate that Russia is responsible for her well-being.

We note there have been press reports that the Russian Ministry of Justice has initiated a process which would allow Oleg Sentsov, Gennady Afanasiev, Oleksander Kolchenko, and Yuri Soloshenko to be returned to Ukraine. We welcome this as a positive first step, and look to the Russian Federation to follow through on this process without delay.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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