Trump Russia Ukraine prisoner swap, How the world reacted.
The Netherlands “deeply regrets” that Volodymyr Tsemakh, a suspect in the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, was released as part of a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, the Dutch government said on Saturday.
Seventy people were exchanged between Russia and Ukraine on Saturday, 35 from each country.
According to the Ukrainian prosecutor general Larysa Sargan, cited by the Interfax news agency, “35 for 35” prisoners were exchanged between Ukraine and Russia on Saturday.
Among the Ukrainians released were 24 sailors captured in the Kerch Strait last November, and filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was arrested on terrorism charges — which he denies — in 2015.
Kirill Vyshinsky, the former director of the Ukrainian branch of a Russian state news agency and Tsemakh, were among those returned to Russia.
The Dutch government said in a letter seen by Euronews that it was first informed that Tsemakh might be part of a prisoner exchange in mid-August and that “several rounds of consultations” via diplomatic and political channels ensued to ensure he would not be released so that he would remain at the disposal of the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17.
The Ukrainian authorities delayed the exchange and allowed the Dutch Public Prosecution Service to interview Tsemakh but ultimately released him.
“The government deeply regrets Mr Tsemakhm’s inclusion, under pressure from the Russian Federation, in this prisoner exchange, as a result of which he is currently in Russia,” the Dutch government said.
“The government reminds once again that Russia is also obliged to cooperate on the basis of UN Security Council resolution 2166,” it added.
Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH17 left Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur on July 14, 2014 but was shot down over eastern Ukraine resulting in the death of 298 people, most of them Dutch.
A trial is scheduled to start on March 9, 2020.