Savchenko: Czech Republic and Ukraine — closer than you think

Ukrainian pilots Hope Savchenko, who was sentenced by a Russian court “for his involvement in the murder of journalists VGTRK” to 22 years in prison and conducted in protest of a multi-day hunger strike last year was pardoned. This week she arrived in Prague at the invitation of the Czech MEP Pavel Freedom — their meeting took place six months ago in Brussels at the meeting of the informal Association “Friends of European Ukraine”. In the Czech Republic Savchenko has many adherents.

Freak or deviant?

“In the first day of the visit Savchenko in the Czech Republic was able to attain some of our goals — to meet, especially with her supporters, who supported her and provided her support when Nadia Savchenko has been in Russian prison. It is also important that we can hear already not indirectly, but directly from Savchenko its history. This, I believe, gives us the opportunity to form your own opinion of whether Nadya is really a fanatic, as some tend to interpret, or did she simply have very different views, it is, nevertheless, it is deliberate,” says Pavel Svoboda.

After Prague, several meetings with community activists and non-governmental organizations Czech, MP took part in the Prague press conference.

“The Czech Republic and Ukraine have more in common in its history than it may seem at first glance. We were hostages of the same wars and regimes, so our state is easier to achieve mutual understanding in relations than in relations with other countries. I am grateful to the Czech politicians and government CHR for the fact that they protect the interests of Ukraine in the European Union and strictly adhere to the norms of international law, but Paul Freedom for the organization in the European Parliament meetings friends of Ukraine, and for the fact that he is not indifferent to my fate, like the fate of other Ukrainians, have become hostages of this war,” — said Savchenko.

She told Czech journalists that were removed from the territory of Ukraine’s Pro-Russian collaborators, and initiated criminal proceedings against her was fabricated by the Russian investigative authorities. About she founded the public movement “Fleece” the Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine noted that the purpose of this civic platform is “destroying the existing party system of Ukraine, it is rotten, and the Association of independent Ukrainians, who are able to fight for justice.”

The question of “Radio Prague” — whether Savchenko is currently closer collaboration with colleagues in the Parliament to overcome the internal differences for the sake of the interests of the Ukrainian state?

“The highest authorities of Ukraine, of course, must show greater unity to get closer to European democratic values. In Parliament, in particular, meets a lot of reasonable people with whom we are able to find a common language, but there are those who put their personal interests above the interests of the people, and they must be fought”.

After his release, an officer of the Armed forces of Ukraine seeks to help liberate other Ukrainians, as captured by the separatists and imprisoned in Russia. Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada believes that she was able to contribute to the liberation of three Ukrainians in exchange for 15 separatists. In the case of the appearance of chance at the beginning of the active phase of the prisoner exchange, she is ready to meet separatist leaders in the Donbass Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Carpentry.

The list of missing persons

Savchenko has been criticized due to the fact that she, despite warnings, the SBU has published a list of Ukrainians who were captured or missing on the territory of Donbass in Russia. National darling at the Prague press conference assured that among critics it initiatives are no relatives of the missing soldiers, and relatives of the missing, on the contrary, appeal directly to her with a request for help. Lists, stressed Savchenko also need to remind the Ukrainian government that it is obliged to take care of their own citizens. On Friday held a meeting of people’s Deputy of Ukraine from Czech legislators and representatives of the faction of the opposition party TOR 09, which discussed the situation of Ukrainian prisoners, which Savchenko has called on Czech politicians.

Permanent mission of the EU support programme to fight against corruption in Ukraine

— How the European Parliament cooperates with the representatives of Ukraine in overcoming the crisis in the Donbass — a question to the MEP from the Czech Christian democratic party Pavel Freedom.

“The European Parliament cooperates with the government and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on a permanent basis conducting the visits of official delegations, including members of the European Parliament Committee on civil liberties, justice and internal Affairs, as it is part of our competence. This is a continual process over a long period of time, which is likely to continue.”

— Whether, in your opinion, in the framework of this cooperation effective measures are taken, which would affect, among other things, more samospalenie within Ukrainian society and, in particular, would have helped early completion of the armed conflict?

“It is difficult to measure. However, in any case, I believe these visits of official delegations are a certain type of friendly pressure. That the delegation of our Committee was adopted by President Poroshenko and a number of Ukrainian state representatives, it gives me reason to believe that Ukraine is serious about the cooperation with the EP and realize that it must be backed up by concrete results. In Ukraine began on the permanent Advisory EU mission for justice, with program support of the fight against corruption, which monitors the situation in Ukraine. This is another lever of influence”.

— Returning to the visit invited N. Savchenko is the people’s Deputy, in your opinion, personality, able to unite Ukrainians?

“I think that to answer this question we will have to wait a little longer as it is based Savchenko civic platform is relatively new. It is the attempt of the “non-political politics.” The Czech experience, we know that the development of such initiatives takes time. I personally approve many actions of the Ukrainian authorities to reform, but on the other hand I have many friends in Ukraine who live a normal life of ordinary citizens and they say that the specific results of the reform they do not feel. For me, this is the dilemma of obtaining information from multiple sources, and understand that as such a dichotomy of Ukrainian society provides a space for Nadia Savchenko,” — concludes Paul Svoboda in an interview with the Russian edition of “Radio Prague”.