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    Court hears UKrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko's appeal

    Kremlin: Exchange of Savchenko for Detained Russian Nationals Possible

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    Ukrainian national Nadezhda Savchenko could be exchanged for two Russian citizens prosecuted by Kiev if it complies with national laws and upon a corresponding decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sergei Ivanov, the chief of staff of the Russian presidential administration, said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Savchenko received a 22-year prison sentence after being convicted in a Russian court of directing artillery that killed Russian journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin in eastern Ukraine on June 17, 2014.

    "Regarding the exchange, it is theoretically possible if it is carried out in full compliance with the Russian legislation, and following a decision that may be taken only by Russia's president," Ivanov told reporters.

    He added that such an exchange should not be linked to the implementation of the Minsk agreements on the Ukrainian reconciliation.

    "It has nothing to do with the Minsk agreements since Russia, as everyone knows, is not a party to the conflict," Ivanov pointed out.

    On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Kiev was ready to swap Savchenko for two Russian nationals captured in eastern Ukraine last year while allegedly fighting on the side of the Donbass militia.

    Kiev authorities claim that Alexander Aleksandrov and Yevgeni Yerofeev were serving in the Russian military at the time of their capture in the Lugansk region, while the Russian military says both men were not on active duty and traveled to Ukraine on their own volition.

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    Sergei Ivanov, Nadezhda Savchenko, Ukraine
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