Statement by the Information Policy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine regarding the issue of Ukrainian citizens detained in Moscow, including Oleh Sentsov, June 11, 2014
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Embassy of Ukraine in the Russian Federation are continuing to take comprehensive measures to ensure the consular protection of the rights and interests of Oleh Sentsov and other citizens of Ukraine who are being held in prison in Moscow on false charges.
However, the effort to provide consular-legal aid and protection to our citizens is complicated by the position of the Russian side, which is openly defying the provisions of existing international legal documents in this field. Despite numerous requests from the Ukrainian side, competent local authorities have not yet been granted permission to visit detainees in their places of detention. This is a gross violation of the rights not only of our compatriots but also of the consular officials of Ukraine for unrestricted relations on the territory of a foreign country and is, in fact, a deliberate obstruction of their duty to provide protection for the citizens of their country.
This behavior by the Russian side ruins and distorts the existing universal mode of consular relations between states, as defined by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, which should become the subject of special attention by the international community with the goal of rendering an appropriate opinion, most notably on the discriminatory application of the said document to the citizens of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine once again demands from the Russian side the immediate release and repatriation of the citizens of Ukraine, the cessation of the practice of violating their rights and freedoms, and strict compliance with the international obligations in the consular and legal sphere that it has assumed.
Translation: Anna Mostovych
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