Ukrainian MP Iryna Gerashchenko advises families of Russians convicted in Ukraine to ask Putin for prisoner swap
Verkhovna Rada First Deputy Chairperson, Ukraine's envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group's humanitarian subgroup Iryna Gerashchenko has advised that relatives of 25 Russians convicted in Ukraine on charges of terrorism ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to initiate their exchange for Ukrainian political prisoners kept in Russia.
"I informed how [Russian Ombudsperson Tatyana] Moskalkova escaped from [Ukrainian Ombudsperson Lyudmila] Denisova. I appealed to the families of 25 convicted Russians to demand that their president Putin immediately take them [the Russians imprisoned in Ukraine] from Ukraine and give us ours. I also emphasized that neither the Russian side, nor its puppets from the self-proclaimed republics had ever included the name of [RIA Novosti Ukraine head Kirill] Vyshinsky [who is in jail in Ukraine] in any [swap] lists. Nobody cares about the citizens of the Russian Federation. Putin will leave you behind. Your country will leave you behind. ... Take yours back and free ours," Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook on Thursday.
She also said that on the sidelines of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, she disclosed the names of the 25 Russians convicted by Ukrainian courts of terrorism and infringements on Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. She also said that the Ukrainian side was ready to immediately release them in exchange for the political prisoners kept by the Kremlin.
"I recalled that I had asked [Boris] Gryzlov [a close ally of Putin] 13 times during Minsk talks to take [the Russian prisoners] back and free [Ukrainian film director Oleh] Sentsov, [Ukrinform correspondent Roman] Sushchenko, [Ukrainian activist Oleksandr] Kolchenko, [Ukrainian political prisoner Yevhen] Panov, [Ukrainian political prisoner Mykola] Karpiuk, [Ukrainian political prisoner Stanislav] Klykh, [Ukrainian citizen Pavlo] Hryb," Gerashchenko wrote.
Gerashchenko says that neither Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, which has sent respective requests to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, nor she herself has received answers from the Russian side in the Trilateral Contact Group at the Minsk talks.