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Wednesday, 09 March 2016 19:17

Russia bans proposed over Ukrainian pilot

Russia bans proposed over Ukrainian pilot
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius says five European countries have suggested sanctions against Russian officials involved in the trial of the Ukrainian military pilot, Nadia Savchenko.

"Officials directly involved in this fabricated case must face consequences. We see that protests, letters and statements have failed to bring results," Linkevicius told AFP on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old war veteran, Savchenko, is on trial for alleged involvement in the death of two Russian state television journalists in a mortar attack that occurred two months after the eruption of Ukraine's pro-Moscow eastern revolt in April 2014 and faces up to 23 years in jail if convicted. She denies the charges.

The foreign ministers of Britain, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Lithuania inked the initiative, which will be presented to European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, this week.

Linkevicius said the proposed "Savchenko list" would require the EU to impose visa restrictions and asset freezes on those "responsible for her illegal detention, incarceration and sentencing.”

Savchenko vowed on Wednesday to continue her hunger strike that she began after her hearing was adjourned last Thursday before she was given a chance to make a final statement.

The sentence will be handed down on March 21 or 22, according to the judge.

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