The EU calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Nadiya Savchenko

The EU has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko on the basis of the Minsk Agreements which state that “all hostages and illegally detained persons” in connection with the Ukrainian conflict must be released.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, stressed in a statement that Brussels is worried about the fate of not only Savchenko, but other Ukrainian citizens being held in Russia as well.

“We continue to add our voices to the many others worldwide calling on the Russian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Nadiya Savchenko, on humanitarian grounds, and in keeping with the ‘Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements’ and the commitment therein to release all hostages and detained persons related to the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” Mogherini’s statement read.

In addition, Mogherini called on the Russian authorities to release “all the other Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in Russia, including Oleh Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko.”

Earlier today, during his visit to Moscow, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir spoke of the possibility of a “humane solution” to the Savchenko case.

"We are closely following the developments of this case, we are especially concerned about the health of Ms. Savchenko. I hope that all parties in this matter will soon agree on a humane solution " Steinmeir stated, as quoted by RBC.

Similarly, Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen wrote on Twitter than “Denmark does not recognize Savchenko as guilty.”

On Tuesday, a Russian court found Savchenko guilty of complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists and sentenced her to 22 years in prison.

The judge in the Russian town of Donetsk said Savchenko had been driven by "political hatred".

"A propaganda machine is at work here, absent of justice and freedom," Savchenko’s lawyer wrote on Twitter.

It is widely believed that Savchenko was in fact captured by Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) separatists in eastern Ukraine and was illegally transported to Russia, where the case was fabricated against her.

Savchenko was elected to the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada in absentia in October of 2014, and became an official delegate of the PACE several months later.

Savchenko declared a dry hunger strike on March 3rd after the Donetsk City Court in the Rostov region announced that she would not be given a chance to make her final closing statement during a court hearing.

  Ukraine, Russia, EU, Savchenko, political prisoners