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Russian diplomat doubts Kerry’s statement on jailed Ukrainian pilot is authentic

March 08, 23:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The U.S. Department of State published Kerry’s statement, which claimed Russia was violating its commitments under the Minsk accords by putting Savchenko on trial
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Maria Zakharova

Maria Zakharova

©  Press service of the MFA of Russia / TASS

MOSCOW, March 8. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova doubts the statement of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urging Russia "to immediately release Ms. Savchenko" was authentic, she wrote on Facebook Tuesday.

Kerry could not but "have realized that the publication of appeals to release an accused person 24 hours before the trial puts pressure on the court for the purpose to wield an influence on its ruling," Zakharova said.

Along with that, he could not "but have known that the Minsk agreements do not contain a single word about N. Savchenko and her case is not subject to any item prescribed in them."

On March 7, the U.S. Department of State published Kerry’s statement, which claimed Russia was violating its commitments under the Minsk accords by putting Savchenko on trial. Also, the statement urged Russia to "immediately release her."

Nadezhda Savchenko, 35, who has been held in Russian custody since July 2014, is charged with murder, attempted murder and illegal border crossing. The trial began on September 22, 2015.

Russia’s investigators say Savchenko, the gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter, joined the Aidar militant battalion and in June 2014 conducted covert surveillance and direction of artillery bombarding targeting a checkpoint in the much-troubled Lugansk region. The settlement was full of civilians, including three Russian journalists.

Two Russian journalists - Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin - from the All-Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (VGTRK) died in the shelling.

Apart from that, Zakharova reminded Kerry of "the victims" of the American judicial system - Viktor Bout, Konstantin Yaroshenko and others, "who Washington has been unwilling to release for too many years and has given them medical help exclusively after the Russian foreign ministry’s interference."

Besides, she said that the U.S. Department of State had shown no interest in the investigation into death of the Russian reporters - Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin.

"Before publishing such statements, they should decide for themselves whether extraterritorial application of law is legal or not," she wrote in conclusion.

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