7 Jun 2018 20:05

Ukrainian parliament calls for new sanctions against Russia

KYIV. June 7 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday condemned the Moscow City Court's sentencing of the Ukrainian man Roman Sushchenko to 12 years of imprisonment for espionage, and urged the global community to introduce new sanctions against Russia.

"Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine hereby states that the verdict by the Moscow City Court in this case is based on frankly fabricated accusations and falsified evidence, and is yet another attestation of the absence of justice in the Russian Federation and the continuation of politically motivated persecutions of Ukrainian citizens," the Ukrainian parliament said in a statement.

The Russian authorities must stop violating human rights and freedoms, overturn the "unlawful" court ruling in Sushchenko's case and release him, and let him go back to Ukraine freely, the parliament said.

Furthermore, the international community must denounce Russia's policy and increase pressure on it to secure the release of Sushchenko and other Ukrainians jailed in Russia, it said.

"Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is urging all states of the world, international organizations and institutions to introduce new sanctions against the Russian Federation in relation to its continued violation of human rights and ongoing political persecutions, in particular the unlawful verdict by the Moscow City Court in the case of Roman Sushchenko who is imprisoned in the Russian Federation illegally," the statement said.

As reported, the Federal Security Service notified of Sushchenko's detention "while carrying out an espionage operation" in Moscow on October 3, 2016. He was charged with espionage, and the Moscow Lefortovsky District Court authorized his arrest.

During the hearings the prosecutor sought to sentence the Ukrainian to 14 years in a high-security penal colony. The defense team insisted on the innocence of the defendant, who, in their view, fell victim of the provocation.

Lawyer Mark Feygin said that Sushchenko, who lived in France for over six years while being a Paris correspondent of the Ukrinform news agency paid numerous visits to Russia and during his detention was on a personal business in Russia, where his relatives live.

On Monday, the Moscow City Court sentenced Sushchenko to 12 years in a high-security penal colony for espionage.