Savchenko's pardoning has no relation to Minsk-2 – Putin
The pardoning of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadia Savchenko has got nothing to do with the Minsk-2 package of measures designed to implement the Minsk Accord for the settlement in Eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference, according to TASS.
"The number one task for us in this connection was to return two Russian nationals, who were convicted by a Ukrainian court and were serving their prison sentences in Ukraine, back home," Putin said, TASS reports.
"It is of no relation to the Minsk Accords, which mention persons held in Donbas or people who were taken to Ukraine from the territory of Donbas," Putin explained.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on March 22, 2016, a Russian court sentenced Savchenko to 22 years in prison for the alleged murder of Russian journalists who were illegally staying in the east of Ukraine – Russia's VGTRK Media Group journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin.
Savchenko was also charged for illegally crossing the Russian border.
She was swapped for two Russian GRU special forces officers Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov, who flew to Moscow on the same day when Savchenko returned home on May 25, 2016.
Savchenko was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin, while Yerofeyev and Alexandrov were granted clemency by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.