The statement that Hope Savchenko was exchanged for a Russian “GRU soldiers” Evgeny Erofeev and Alexander Alexandrov in the framework of the Minsk agreements, not true. This was stated by a senior source, is referring agencies Interfax and TASS reported.
“Not true allegations that the exchange was accomplished in the framework of the implementation of the Minsk agreements”, — said the source.
The day before that, freeing Savchenko, Russia has completed the “important part” of the obligations under the Minsk agreement, said U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry. “Almost two years ago, Hope Savchenko was captured in battle in Eastern Ukraine, and forcibly, against her will, taken to Russia. Her release after much testing, which included solitary confinement, is the fulfillment of Russia’s an important part of its commitments under the Minsk agreements and now must serve as a stimulus for their full implementation”, — said Kerry.
In addition, the head of European diplomacy Federica Mogherini said on the eve that the exchange of two Russians on Savchenko should be the basis for further steps in the implementation of the Minsk agreements as the exchange of prisoners according to the principle “all for all” is one of the key points of the agreement.
A senior source of the two agencies also denied the allegation that the agreement for the release of Savchenko was reached during a telephone conversation, “Norman Quartet” on 23 may. According to him, the decision was made earlier, not when Vladimir Putin got on the phone with leaders of Germany, France and Ukraine.
“The decision, as was announced yesterday, were studied long before that and taken the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko,” — said the source. “During the telephone talks the other members of “the Norman four” were only informed about the already made decision”, — he said.
On the eve of French President Francois Hollande, commenting on the message about the exchange Savchenko, said that the exchange of prisoners took place “in accordance with the commitments made during a telephone conversation in “Normandy format” may 23″. In addition, the press Secretary of Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that Poroshenko and Mr Putin “touched upon the subject of exchange” Savchenko on the Russians and Erofeeva Alexandrov during telephone conversations on may 23.
Earlier, the Ukrainian side insisted that the repatriation of Ukrainian citizens in custody on the territory of Russia (including Savchenko) prescribed by the Minsk agreements, in which there is a clause on the exchange of “all for all”.
This requirement Kyiv supported the Western partners. Kerry during the March visit to Moscow, also urged Ukraine to transfer Savchenko in connection with the obligations of Moscow on the Minsk agreement.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that it does not consider itself party to the conflict, and called the requirement for the exchange of baseless.