The monitoring rapporteurs for Russia and for Ukraine of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have urged the Russian authorities to release Ukrainian pilot and PACE member Nadiia Savchenko without further delay.
Liliane Maury Pasquier (Switzerland, SOC) and Theodora Bakoyannis (Greece, EPP/CD), who deal with Russia, and Jordi Xuclà (Spain, ALDE) and Axel Fischer (Germany, EPP/CD), who deal with Ukraine, pointed out that Ms Savchenko, as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly, should benefit from immunity from prosecution under the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe and its protocols.
Moreover, they pointed out, in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements Russia committed itself to “ensure pardon and amnesty by enacting the law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that took place in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine”, which is clearly applicable to Ms Savchenko.
“We therefor reiterate the Assembly’s call for her immediate release, and urge the Russian authorities to allow her to return to Ukraine,” said the four rapporteurs.
“Ms Savchenko’s continuing detention is only hurting the image of the Russian Federation abroad and its relations with other European countries. At the same time, her release would be a welcome impetus towards the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, a step towards resolving the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russia should not miss such a chance.”