Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova spoke on June 23 about the process of negotiations with Ukraine on the release of 77 Russian sailors from eight civilian ships. For the fourth month they are kept at the shipyards of Izmail and cannot return to Russia.
Agreements on the exchange have not been finally reached, although exchange options have been proposed, Moskalkova said. The Ombudswoman emphasized that the sailors did nothing wrong either to Ukraine or to Ukrainian society, writes RIA Novosti. “They are actually kept as a background exchange. This is not only not democratic, but contrary to all norms of both law and morality,” she said.
Russia will select the conditions for the return of sailors, among whom there are women and the elderly. The Commissioner for Human Rights appealed to the Ukrainian side with a request to release the detained Russians without any conditions, since it is impossible to exchange them for military men – this will be an unequal exchange, just as it is impossible to exchange them for civilians who have committed any offenses.
Earlier, Moskalkova said that the situation with the Russian sailors held in Ukraine worsened, as ships up for auction. If the ships are sold, the crews will end up ashore. They have no place to live, no legal status and no way to return to Russia, the ombudswoman noted.