Kyiv may appeal to international agencies over release of Ukrainian military arrested in Russia
Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko has said that Ukraine may use legal mechanisms for ensuring the return of Ukrainian servicemen held in Russia if diplomatic methods do not work.
"The Foreign Ministry is now taking all measures to bring back our military who were forced to retreat to Russian territory because of shelling. They are hostages there, and Russia has no rights and grounds to keep them on its territory. If diplomatic mechanisms do not help, we will use legal ones, but these are the most extreme measures," he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.
Speaking about possible legal mechanisms, Petrenko noted that Ukraine could appeal to respective UN committees with a statement that one country holds hostages, as well as file an appeal to international courts.
"But this is an extreme measure. I think that it would be much quicker to resolve this issue at a diplomatic level," he said.
As reported, the 72nd and 79th brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were actually encircled and subjected to regular shelling from militants in Ukraine and from Russian territory.
Up to 449 Ukrainian servicemen taking part in the anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine's eastern regions crossed into Russia amid heavy shelling from August 1 to August 4 with the help of OSCE observers. The soldiers said shortly afterwards that they wanted to return to Ukraine. Most of them left Russia on August 4 and August 5.