Kremlin: Jagland's letter cannot serve as basis for pardoning Sentsov

Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said he did not know whether the letter sent by Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland asking Putin to pardon Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov had reached the Kremlin, but noted that "in the view of Russian legislation it is not a basis for any legal action," Peskov told this to reporters on Tuesday, reports Interfax-Ukraine.

"It must have been sent through diplomatic channels. I have not seen this letter yet, so I cannot say anything," he said.

"You know that such a request, in the view of Russian legislation, cannot serve as grounds for actions because, you know, of what the pardon procedure in the Russian Federation is like," Peskov added.

Jagland visited Moscow on June 20, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova.

According to Deputy Secretary General for the Council of Europe Daniel Höltgen, Jagland did not raise the issue of the release of Ukrainian political prisoners during the talks with Putin. After the meeting with Moskalkova, Jagland stated that Sentsov should be pardoned "for humanitarian reasons" and promised to file a petition for clemency on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In 2015, Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in a penal colony on charges of terrorism. He and Olexandr Kolchenko, who received a 10-year sentence, were detained in May 2014 in the annexed Crimea and accused of creating a terrorist community on the peninsula.

On May 14, Sentsov went on a hunger strike to demand the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners. He began to receive supporting treatment in detention on May 28.

  Sentsov, Thorbjorn Jagland, Russia, political prisoners