Russian ombudswoman: Interstate treaty needed for people with dual citizenship like Sentsov

20:50, 26 June 2018
Politics
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Updated
REUTERS

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova designates Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who was illegally convicted in Russia, as a person with dual citizenship and says an interstate treaty needs to be concluded by Russia and Ukraine to ensure rights of people with "an unclear status."

"It is very important to come to a legal act between the two nations, Russia and Ukraine, which would define the rights of people with dual citizenship or an unclear status. It seems to me it would be right if consuls were given access to those people," Moskalkova, who arrived in Kyiv to meet with detainees, told reporters outside the Lukyanivske detention facility on Tuesday, June 26, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

Read alsoRussia's Ombudsperson Moskalkova arrives in Kyiv

"The Russian consul would then be able to meet citizens with dual citizenship here, such as [Maxim] Odintsov, [Alexander] Baranov and many others, while the consul of Ukraine, in my opinion, should meet such people in Russian territory," she said.

In addition, Moskalkova said her Ukrainian counterpart, Liudmyla Denisova, could visit Sentsov only together with the Russian human rights commissioner and with the Russian authorities' permission.

"I cannot take responsibility for the [Russian] authorities, I sent them my request asking for allowing the [Ukrainian] ombudsperson to join me, because our legislation bars a foreign citizen from visiting a citizen of a different country. She [Denisova] is a citizen of Ukraine. Sentsov is a citizen of Russia," Moskalkova said.

At the same time, the reporters clarified that Sentsov considers himself a citizen of Ukraine.

"We will proceed from the fact that this person has dual citizenship – in fact, yes, his documents include a passport of a Russian citizen, and he signed for it, and I've got a copy of that passport," she said.

Moskalkova was not allowed to see Odintsov in Kyiv on June 26. She said she would return to Moscow where she will wait for a response from Ukraine's Justice Ministry to her request she is going to file to visit Odintsov.

Denisova later said that Odintsov is a Ukrainian citizen, therefore Moskalkova was not allowed to see him on June 26.

As was reported earlier, Ukrainian citizens Odintsov and Baranov joined Russia's army in 2014. They were detained by Ukraine's SBU security service on the administrative border of mainland Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea in November 2016. In February 2018, Kyiv's Darnytsky district court found them guilty of high treason. Baranov was sentenced to 13 years and Odintsov to 14 years in prison.

On June 15, when Ukraine's Denisova came to Russia to visit Sentsov in the colony, she was not allowed to meet him.

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