22:43 GMT30 May 2020
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    Knut Fleckenstein, the vice-chair of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, stated that the elease of Ukrainian military officer Nadezhda Savchenko by the Russian authorities will contribute to improved cooperation between all sides for the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The release of Ukrainian military officer Nadezhda Savchenko by the Russian authorities may give an impetus to the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukrainian reconciliation, Knut Fleckenstein, the vice-chair of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, told Sputnik on Thursday.

    On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to pardon Savchenko who was convicted in Russia of being an accomplice to the murder of two journalists in Donbass.

    "I am glad that Nadiya Savchenko has been released from prison in Russia and that she has returned to Ukraine. I hope that this will contribute to improved cooperation between all sides for the implementation of the Minsk agreements," Fleckenstein said.

    Savchenko was delivered to Kiev following the pardoning. On the same day, a plane carrying Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov, Russian citizens convicted and sentenced in Ukraine for terrorism-related activities landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport, after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a corresponding decree to pardon them.

    Upon Savchenko's arrival in Ukraine, Poroshenko said Kiev would reinstate its control of the country's eastern territories and Crimea, just as it had secured the release of Savchenko.

    "It is important that Ukraine's sovereignty and control over its eastern border will be re-established. Russia's contribution to this objective is as crucial as Ukraine's," Fleckenstein commented the Ukrainian leader's statement.

    Spokesman for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament James Holtum told Sputnik on Wednesday that the group fully supported Poroshenko in his efforts to regain control of the Ukrainian territory Kiev believes had been "seized" by Russia.

    The Minsk agreements were signed by the eastern Ukraine militia and Kiev in February 2015. The agreements stipulate a ceasefire, prisoner swaps, weaponry withdrawal and constitutional reforms in the country, among other points.


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    Minsk agreements, European Parliament, Knut Fleckenstein, Nadezhda Savchenko, Ukraine, Russia
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