10:21 11.09.2018

U.S. at OSCE meeting calls for release of Sentsov, other Ukrainian political prisoners

2 min read
U.S. at OSCE meeting calls for release of Sentsov, other Ukrainian political prisoners

 The head of the U.S. delegation, Ambassador Michael Kozak, at the opening of the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw on September 10, again called on Russia to release Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has reported.

"The ambassador recalled in his speech that in its closing statement at last year's meeting the United States delegation called for the release of filmmaker Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian citizens held by the Russian Federation due to their peaceful opposition to the occupation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine," RFE/RL said in a report on its website on Monday, with reference to the U.S. Mission to the OSCE.

"As we open the 2018 HDIM, Mr. Sentsov is in perilous health on the 120th day of his hunger strike to protest Russia's unlawful imprisonment of over 60 of his fellow countrymen. We call on Russia to release these prisoners. We are alarmed about the prospect of another innocent person dying in Russian custody," Kozak said.

M.Kozak noted that Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine contravenes the Helsinki Final Act's ten foundational principles, including the inviolability of frontiers and the territorial integrity of states. Sentsov and his imprisoned Ukrainian countrymen are "flesh and blood embodiments of the connection between Russia's breaches of international security and its abuse of human rights," he said.

He also noted that the "conflict in Ukraine that Russia ignited and continues to stoke constitutes the worst security crisis in Europe since the 1990s" and confirmed that Minsk-related sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Russia fully implements its Minsk commitments and that Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.

The U.S. ambassador also noted in his speech that Russia's violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of another state are by no means confined to Ukraine.

"Russia continues to occupy 20 percent of Georgia and to support separatism in the Transdniestrian region of Moldova. These interventions carry serious humanitarian consequences. Meanwhile, throughout the OSCE region and the world, Russia engages in malign influence and disinformation campaigns to undermine elections processes and destroy faith in democratic government," the report says.

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