Kiska expresses concern to Poroshenko about Sentsov’s condition

President Andrej Kiska has telephoned Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to congratulate him on the occasion of Ukraine's Independence Day, a national holiday in the country.  Kiska has been encouraging Ukraine to continue its reforms and confirmed that Slovakia will be further supporting Ukraine as it seeks to join the European Union.

President Poroshenko said that the economic situation in the country is slowly improving. He also confirmed that armed forces are still battling in the east of the country, and the tragic loss of lives caused by the struggle continues.

Andrej Kiska expressed concern about the current situation involving imprisoned Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who was sentenced by the Russian Federation to 20 years' imprisonment for allegedly organizing a terrorist group in Crimea, outside of the Russian Federation territory.  An opponent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Oleg Sentsov has been on a hunger strike for more than 100 days, seeking the release from Russian prisons of other citizens of Ukraine illegally serving sentences there.  Poroshenko explained to Kiska that the Ukrainian director was in poor condition, which was met with great unease by Slovakia’s president.

The Slovak President affirmed to his Ukrainian counterpart the official position of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and also of the European Union, calling for the release of illegally imprisoned citizens of Ukraine. He said that it was not only about politics or a judicial matter.

The release of Ukrainian citizens is today undoubtedly in the interest of protecting their lives and health. He also reiterated that Slovakia considers Crimea to be part of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders. Both presidents have agreed to meet at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York during September of this year.

Photo: Oleg Sentsov
Source: tasr/ap