UARU
'Savchenko Should Be Free, If Russia Is Serious About Ceasefire' – Rebecca Harms
14 March, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✓ Nadiya Savchenko, Ukrainian political hostage in Russia, has finally received backing from politicians around Europe and the United States this week;
✓ “Based on the Minsk Agreement: Nadiya should be free;”
✓ Trials such as that of Savchenko prove the direct involvement of the Kremlin in the conflict, Harms warns;
✓ Harms believes that Savchenko’s deteriorating state should be reason to release her as soon as possible.

Nadiya Savchenko’s trial received a lot of international attention this past week.  Because of multiple hunger strikes,  the jailed Ukrainian pilot is growing weaker each day.  Savchenko finally received backing from politicians around Europe and the United States. According to Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament, “based on the Minsk Agreement: Nadiya should be free. The political prisoners in Russia should be sent back to Ukraine and Nadiya should be the first.”

According to Harms, trials such as that of Savchenko prove the direct involvement of the Kremlin in the conflict: “therefore it’s very important to insist that the exchange of the political prisoners based on the agreements of Minsk.”  Harms believes that while an alternative tool like the Magnitsky list can be used to assist in the release of political prisoners, “it's really important that we use what is based already in the Minsk Agreement and increase the pressure to Russia, to the Kremlin that they fulfill what they have signed in Minsk.”

While there are many Ukrainian prisoners being held illegally in Russia, Harms is convinced that Savchenko’s deteriorating state should be reason to release her as soon as possible: “Not that she’s more important than other people imprisoned in Russia, but because she is getting more and more weak: more than 80 days of hunger strike, for several days she also refused to drink, so we have to do something.” There are 11 Ukrainians being held in Russia, and another 12 imprisoned in Crimea. Nadiya Savchenko was kidnapped on the Ukrainian territory in 2014 and brought before a Russian court on manslaughter charges. 

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament via Skype on March 13th, 2016.