Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced that imprisoned military pilot Nadiya Savchenko will be returned to Ukraine in the next few weeks, the RBC new agency reported Monday.
Poroshenko said that a deadline for Savchenko's return was agreed upon last Monday in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I now have a firm belief that my representatives will return Nadiya to Ukraine over the next few weeks. For many Ukrainians, and for me personally, this will be a huge celebration,” Poroshenko said in a television interview with 112 Ukraine, RBC reported.
“For the first time, we have a light at the end of the tunnel. We agreed on a preliminary deadline. I have told Savchenko’s mother and sister about this deadline and about the representatives involved in coordinating these actions,” said the Ukrainian president. Poroshenko also stressed that it was he who had initiated talks with Putin, RBC reported.
Savchenko was jailed after being found guilty of complicity in the death of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine. Her trial and imprisonment has been widely condemned by Western leaders.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the two presidents also spoke about Russian citizens Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, RBC reported. The pair were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by a Ukrainian court last week for allegedly carrying out terrorist activities in the Luhansk region.
The Russian Justice Ministry allowed Kiev to submit documents necessary for Savchenko’s transfer on Wednesday. The Justice Ministry emphasized that the final decision would be made by a judge, RBC reported.