Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko welcomed the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday condemning Russia’s massive violations of human rights, including on the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories.
Poroshenko had high praise for the “consolidated, powerful voice of MEPs in the protection of more than 70 Ukrainian political prisoners, who continue to be forcibly held and tortured by the Kremlin regime,” he wrote on Facebook. He reiterated that Ukraine is fighting for the liberation of every Ukrainian political prisoner.
"The World Cup in Russia could be a good opportunity for humanitarian gestures but apparently human rights are not included in the vital interests of the Kremlin,” he noted.
In early April, Ukraine offered to exchange 23 detained Russian citizens for the Ukrainian political prisoners in the Russian Federation but the Kremlin never responded to the offer. The most famous Ukrainian political prisoner in Russia is filmmaker Oleh Sentsov who has been on hunger strike since May 14.
On June 9, Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation to discuss the issue of releasing Ukrainian political prisoners.
The 2018 World Cup’s first game is a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at 6:00 p.m. on June 14.