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Savchenko exchange for Russian citizens arrested in Ukraine is possible - Russian IC

Savchenko exchange for Russian citizens arrested in Ukraine is possible - Russian ICRussian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin has said it is feasible to exchange Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko, who was convicted for complicity in the murder two Russian journalists. He said an exchange for Russian citizens currently under arrest in Ukraine is possible.

"Certainly, justice demands that [Savchenko] serve the entire 22-year prison sentence [handed down by the court]. But if [a prisoner swap] this helps free good and honest people from Kyiv prisons, then it is possible to agree to such an exchange," Markin said on Friday.

Markin wrote in his column in the Vecherny Chelyabinsk newspaper that "there is only one option here under the law - return [Savchenko] to her native country in order to serve out her prison term there."

Read also: Ukrainian president called on U.S., EU join his Savchenko-Sentsov List initiative

"It is impossible to pardon her if she does not admit her guilt and repent. In any case, granting a pardon is the Russian president's prerogative. He is the only person who can make such decisions," Markin wrote.

Kyiv will probably not require Savchenko to serve out her term, in defiance of the law and treaties, he said.

"The crisis in Ukraine will end with restoration the constitution and the cancellation of illegal decisions. So, even in this case her own fellow citizens will send Savchenko to a Ukrainian prison to finish serving her sentence. A little patience is all that is needed," Markin said.

Read also: Ukraine protests over the Russian Supreme Court's refusal to hear Vyhovsky appeal

Savchenko was sentenced to 22 years in prison last week. The verdict takes effect 10 days after sentencing. Savchenko instructed her lawyers not to appeal the verdict, hoping a political solution can be found quickly that will enable her to return to Ukraine.
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