Ukrainian Justice Ministry: Russia delaying transfer of Crimean prisoners to Ukraine

Дата: 18 July 2016
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 The talks on transfer of Ukrainian prisoners who are serving sentences in the Russian-occupied Crimea, to Ukraine are still ongoing as the Russian side has not yet approved their transfer.

First Deputy Justice Minister of Ukraine Natalia Sevostyanova said this on Monday, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports.

We sent a letter, I signed it, we informed the Russian side that we were ready to accept all [prisoners] and settle them. After that, our and Russian ombudspersons continue negotiations,” she said.

Sevostyanova noted that the issue should have a “comprehensive solution” which is not only within the powers of the ombudspersons.

Later, the mechanisms (for transferring and settling) will be discussed, if, may God give, they will make this decision,” Sevostyanova added.

That is, we are still waiting for their official stance on the Crimean issue. A wish was expressed [by Russia], but no action has been taken to grant this wish,” she explained.

Sevostyanova noted that it was difficult to speak about a time line of transfer; Ukrainian side is ready to launch the process at any time.

Let’s see how they will react. From my point of view, there is no big deal: if there is a political agreement, the process can be launched. The main thing for us is to understand whether this is really a decision of the senior leadership or it was a declaration of the Ombudsperson for implementation of some temporary interests, to put Russia in a favorable light,” she said.

As for possible transfer of political prisoners, particularly Stanislav Klykh and Mykola Karpyuk, who are now imprisoned in Russia now, Sevostyanova said there was no positive news as well.

As reported, June 21, Ukrainian and Russian ombudspersons Valeria Lutkovska and Tatiana Moskalkova said they would conclude an agreement on transfer of a number of prisoners, who were in the Crimean prisons at the time of the annexation, to the mainland Ukraine.

According to Lutkovska, they discussed transfer of 18 people, but “this is not a complete list.”

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