EU says Russia's jailing of Ukrainian filmmaker 'in breach of international law'

26 августа 2015, 11:10

The EU sharply criticised Russia on Tuesday for the jailing of Ukrainian filmmaker and Kremlin critic Oleg Sentsov, calling it a violation of international law, AFP reports.

"Russian courts are not competent to judge acts committed outside the internationally-recognised territory of Russia," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement, referring to alleged crimes committed in Russian-annexed Crimea.

"The EU considers the case to be in breach of international law and elementary standards of justice," she added.

Sentsov, 39, was convicted of carrying out arson attacks on pro-Kremlin party offices in Crimea after Russia seized the peninsula from Ukraine in March last year, and plotting further attacks, including blowing up a Lenin statue in the main Crimean city of Simferopol.

His fellow Ukrainian defendant Alexander Kolchenko, a 25-year-old activist was sentenced to 10 years after he too was found guilty of taking part in the attacks.

"The EU has consistently followed the case of Mr Sentsov and Mr Kolchenko," Mogherini said, two days before a visit to EU headquarters in Brussels by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

"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," she said.

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