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20 September 2017
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Poroshenko says ready to "use constitutional right" to exchange Savchenko

President Petro Poroshenko has told the reporters during a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he is ready to use his constitutional right to exchange Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadia Savchenko, who has been illegally held captive by the Russian authorities on sham charges, an UNIAN correspondent reported.

REUTERS
REUTERS

"If you ask whether I am ready to take a decision on anyone’s exchange. Today, for the first time, I emphasize: yes, as President of Ukraine I am ready to use my constitutional right and exchange Nadia, and do everything possible to provide for her return home, alive and well," said Poroshenko.

"To avoid any speculation, I want to emphasize that over these almost two years, there have never been offers  from credible sources on Savchenko’s exchange," he said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the trial of Ukrainian pilot, MP and member of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE Nadia Savchenko in a Russian-based Donetsk city court in Rostov region has ended on Wednesday, March 9, and the verdict is said to be announced on March 21-22, 2016.

UNIAN memo. Nadia Savchenko was abducted by Russia-backed militants in Donbas last summer, and then illegally transferred to Russia, where she was charged with complicity in the death of Russian journalists. However, the defense claims she couldn't have been involved in this crime as she had been captured before the journalists were killed.

Savchenko is being accused of murder and also of attempted murder, according to the PGO statement. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation also accused Savchenko of illegal border crossing.

Prosecutors have called for a 23-year prison term for Savchenko as well as a fine of RUB 100,000 ($1,400).

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