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Russian Justice Ministry Prepares for Possible Prisoner-Swap With Ukraine

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Russia's Justice Ministry addressed letters, dated March 25, to the Federal Penitentiary Service, ordering to prepare the necessary documents to solve issues regarding the transfer of four Ukrainian convicts, including filmmaker Oleh Sentsov.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's Justice Ministry said Friday it had ordered the country's penitentiary service to prepare documents on the possible extradition of four Ukrainian convicts, including filmmaker Oleh Sentsov.

On March 10, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the Ukrainian Judicial Ministry would appeal to its colleagues in Russia with a request to repatriate Oleh Sentsov, Alexander Kolchenko, Yuri Soloshenko and Gennady Afanasyev to Kiev.

"Based on requests received from the Ukrainian side on March 10, 2016, the Justice Ministry addressed letters, dated March 25, to the Federal Penitentiary Service, ordering to prepare the necessary documents to solve issues regarding the transfer of these convicts," the ministry's press service told RIA Novosti.

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The press service said that the Federal Penitentiary Service was also ordered to check the existence or absence of the grounds that could hinder the extradition.

The ministry underlined that final decisions on whether to extradite the four Ukrainians would be made by Russian federal courts.

According to the press service, Kiev sent a request to the ministry to extradite the convicts to Ukraine for further service of sentence on April 7.

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