Comment by Daria Morozova on declaring Vladimir Tsemakh wanted by SBU

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

I became aware of another case of “compliance” by the Ukrainian side with the obligations for procedural clearance as part of the transfer of convicted persons. Vladimir Tsemakh, previously abducted by Ukrainian saboteurs from the territory of the DPR, was then transferred to the territory of the Russian Federation on September 7, according to the agreement reached between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Today he was declared wanted by the Security Service of Ukraine, as a person hiding from the preliminary investigation. The confusion is that the representatives of Ukraine personally handed him over in exchange for several Ukrainian citizens convicted in the territory of the Russian Federation. According to official data from law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, the date of Tsemakh’s disappearance is September 23. This demonstrates that Ukraine intentionally did not carry out the procedural clearance with a view to further criminal prosecution.

While the Ukrainian authorities do not fulfil their obligations under international legal relations, then there are no guarantees that official Kiev won’t prosecute persons participating in the exchange process under the Minsk agreements. Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities once again demonstrated their inability to fulfil any obligations undertaken. The principled position of the Republic is the adoption by the Ukrainian side of a decision to terminate the criminal prosecution of persons participating in the exchange, as this is a key component of the negotiation process.

Such actions undermine the authority of Ukraine, including as a subject of international legal relations and devalue thousands of hours of painstaking work and negotiations held by the Contact Group on the conflict settlement in Donbas.