Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement by FCO Minister of State on the “Ukrainian political prisoners”

Question: Foreign Office Minister of State Alan Duncan has urged Russia to immediately release up to 70 “Ukrainian political prisoners”, including Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh. How would you comment on this?

Answer: The Embassy has taken note of the statement, which fails to reflect the real state of affairs. It should be reminded once again that Oleg Sentsov has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on grave charges of creating a terrorist group and preparing two terrorist acts. Volodymyr Balukh has been convicted to three and a half years in prison for illegal possession of arms. These are all criminal offences punishable not only in Russia but under the law of a vast majority of countries, including the United Kingdom.

The Embassy urges the FCO to stop making ungrounded demands and accusations against Russia on judgments and sentences passed in strict compliance with Russian law.