French President Emmanuel Macron has met with Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who was released from a Russian prison, on the sidelines of the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg.
“With liberated Oleg Sentsov in Strasbourg. The great European. He belongs to those who believe that the freedom of others is as important as ours,” wrote the French president wrote on Twitter.
He recalled that Sentsov was released as a result of the prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia in early September.
À Strasbourg avec Oleg Sentsov, libre. Un grand Européen. Il est de ceux qui pensent que la liberté des autres nous est aussi essentielle que la nôtre. Sa liberté est le résultat de l’avancée que fut l’échange de prisonniers intervenu début septembre entre la Russie et l’Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/WqsdSSZ0Al — Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) 1 октября 2019 г.
As reported, the prisoner swap between Ukraine and the Russian Federation took place on September 7. In particular, 24 Ukrainian sailors – prisoners of war and 11 political prisoners, including film director Oleg Sentsov and activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, returned to Ukraine. They were detained by representatives of Russian special services in Crimea in May 2014 on charges of allegedly plotting terrorist attacks on the peninsula.
In August 2015, the North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in maximum security penal colony and Kolchenko to 10 years on trumped-up charges of plotting terrorist attacks in the territory of Crimea. Both denied their guilt.