Interfax: Russia didn’t make any promises to release pilot Savchenko in Minsk summit – Peskov

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MOSCOW. Feb 13 (Interfax) – The issue of pilot Savchenko was indeed raised by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the Minsk meeting in the “Normandy format” and Russia made no promises, but gave explanations, Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov told Interfax on Friday, commenting on the statement made by Poroshenko saying he had raised the issue of Savchenko release in the meeting in Minsk and “was informed that it should be done after the medical evaluation is completed and after the investigators draw tentative conclusions.”

“Indeed, the Ukrainian side raised the issue of Savchenko at the summit. The Russian side could not have made any promises on that matter. Nadezhda Savchenko is now under investigation and whether she is guilty or not will be decided by court,” Peskov told Interfax.

Peskov confirmed that French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel “indeed spoke in favor of Nadezhda Savchenko release in the meeting in Minsk.” “Appropriate explanations were given to them,” Peskov said.

According to the Russian law enforcement agencies, Savchenko was involved in the events taking place in eastern Ukraine as a member of the Ukrainian volunteer battalion Aidar. On July 8, 2014, it was reported that she was in a detention facility in Voronezh. On September 24, she was transferred to Moscow. Savchenko is charged with abetting the murder of Russian journalists in southeastern Ukraine. She denies her guilt.

On February 10, the Moscow Basmanny Court decided to extend Savchenko’s term in custody until May 13, 2015. The pilot went on hunger strike in mid December 2014 to protest her arrest.