23:24 GMT04 June 2020
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    The release of Ukrainian military service member Nadezhda Savchenko by Russia is a positive development toward settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion said in a statement on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to pardon Savchenko who was convicted in Russia of being an accomplice to the murder of two Russian journalists in Donbass.

    "The long-awaited decision to transfer Ms. Savchenko back to Ukraine marks an important, positive milestone in efforts to resolve the ongoing conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region, and we are encouraged by the efforts of both Ukraine and Russia to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome in Ms. Savchenko’s case," Dion stated.

    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 Internatinal Airport, after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a corresponding decree to pardon them.

    The Minsk agreements, signed by the sides to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, stipulate a ceasefire, prisoner swaps, weaponry withdrawal and constitutional reforms, among other points.


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    Stephane Dion, Nadezhda Savchenko
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