15:43 18.07.2019

Extending arrest to Ukrainian sailors is Kremlin's attempt to pressure Zelensky ahead of elections - Volker

1 min read
Extending arrest to Ukrainian sailors is Kremlin's attempt to pressure Zelensky ahead of elections - Volker

Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Negotiations, said that the extending of the term of arrest to Ukrainian sailors and the decision to simplify the procedure for issuing Russian passports to residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is an attempt by the Kremlin to put pressure on President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of parliamentary elections, the Voice of America reports.

He said the detention of sailors was illegal from the very beginning, and they should be released immediately. They were attacked in international waters and illegally seized. They should be returned to their families as soon as possible. He is convinced that President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin and Russia are making use of sailors and the issuance of Russian passports will help put pressure on Zelensky and harm his election prospects.

He also expressed doubt that such a move would work.

He said that Ukrainians have their own opinions regarding their choice. They also understand that such pressure from Russia will not be able to defeat Ukraine, Volker said.

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