Bruxelles, 25/08/2015

Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini on the sentencing by a Russian court of Ukrainian citizens O. Sentsov and O. Kolchenko

Today the North Caucasus military court in Russia sentenced Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov to twenty years imprisonment on charges of terrorism and his co-defendant Oleksandr Kolchenko to ten years imprisonment.

The EU has consistently followed the case of Mr Sentsov and Mr Kolchenko. Known to oppose the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia, they were arrested in May 2014 in relation to alleged activities conducted on the peninsula.

Russian courts are not competent to judge acts committed outside the internationally-recognised territory of Russia. The EU considers the case to be in breach of international law and elementary standards of justice. The EU continues to call on the Russian Federation to immediately release Mr Sentsov and Mr Kolchenko and to guarantee their safe return to Ukraine.