Ukraine expects Jagland's official address to Putin demanding release of Sentsov, other prisoners
If Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland is ready to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to free Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov convicted in Russia and other Ukrainians held there, he must immediately do so and seek their release for humanitarian reasons, First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko, who represents Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group, has said.
"The hostages must be released immediately. This is the duty of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to demand that the president of Russia, a member state of the Council of Europe, observe international humanitarian law and free all illegally held Ukrainians. We are waiting for Jagland's official address to Putin demanding the release of hostages and political prisoners, including Oleh and all others in Russian prisons and in occupied areas," Gerashchenko wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday.
At the same time, she did not exclude that Jagland could link the issue of the release of political prisoners to his promise to return Russia to PACE without the fulfillment by Russia of PACE resolutions on the implementation of the Minsk agreements and de-occupation of Crimea and Donbas.
"I emphasize that the immediate release of hostages is just one of the requirements for the Russian Federation and just one of the points of the Minsk agreements, which also refers to the ceasefire, the withdrawal of foreign weapons and equipment, etc.," Gerashchenko wrote.
Earlier on Wednesday, Jagland told reporters that Sentsov should be released on humanitarian grounds.
"I believe that Mr. Sentsov should be released on humanitarian grounds," Jagland told journalists in Moscow on Wednesday after meeting with Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova.
"If there is a need for a request for pardoning him I would gladly do it on the basis of the European Convention of Human Rights," he said.