The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, welcomed the release of the former Army pilot in the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Nadiya Savchenko, and her return from Russia to her homeland. In his statement, he called Savchenko’s release an important element of Russia’s implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
Secretary Kerry called on Moscow to meet its other obligations to these agreements, namely the release of prisoners and hostages, withdrawal of troops and restoration of Ukraine’s control over its border in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. He also welcomed the decision of the Ukrainian authorities to release two Russian servicemen, convicted under terrorism charges.
Other Western representatives also welcomed Savchenko’s release. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini called it long-awaited good news. The German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated that he feels joy and relief in connection with the release of Savchenko, adding that the resolution of this issue has required a lot of work.
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, speaking together with Savchenko in his residence, thanked the U.S. and EU countries for assisting in her release. Savchenko was released on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree pardoning her. On the same day, Petro Poroshenko granted pardon to Russian citizens Evgeny Erofeev and Alexander Alexandrov, who also returned to their homeland.