12:32 12.03.2016

No discussion of Savchenko handover to Ukraine until sentencing - Russian Foreign Ministry

The issue of Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko's handover to Kyiv will not be on agenda until the court delivers a verdict in her case, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.

"There is and was no discussion of it until there is a court ruling," she said on the Saturday News with Sergei Brilyov program on the Rossiya-1 (VGTRK) television channel.

She was commenting on the Russian Justice Ministry's announcement of having received a Ukrainian request for the Ukrainians held in custody in Russia to be handed over to Kyiv.

"Whatever pressure is exerted on the Russian justice system, including on the Russian public opinion, the trial will be completed and a verdict delivered," the spokeswoman said. "Now it is the court's turn to have a say," she said.

Commenting on Washington's statement that Russia holds Savchenko in custody in violation of the Minsk agreements urging the release of all illegally imprisoned persons, Zakharova recalled that "the Minsk agreements are dedicated to two conflicting parties within the Ukrainian crisis."

"This is between Kyiv officials and Donbas. That is it. Period," she said.

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