Zelensky asks Erdogan to help with release of Ukrainian political prisoners

Crimean Tatars
Canan Sarıtepe
01 October 2021, 15:30
Фото: Офіс президента України
Canan Sarıtepe
01 October 2021, 15:30

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has sought his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s help for the release of Ukrainian citizens detained by Russia.

Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said this at a news conference on Thursday, speaking on the talks in New York, where the Ukrainian President attended the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He underscored the importance of bilateral talks held by President Volodymyr Zelensky with the leaders of Britain and Turkey, as well as with the European Commission president and the NATO secretary-general.

Indicating that the Russian Federation systematically violates the rights and freedoms of people living in the occupied territories, Kuleba said that "at all meetings in New York, Zelensky spoke about 450 Ukrainians whom Moscow unlawfully holds in the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea, as well as in Russia."

Zelensky handed the list of detainees to Erdogan

The diplomat said that during the meeting, Zelensky handed Erdoğan a list of 450 Ukrainian detainees, including Nariman Dzhelyal, the deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, the self-governing body.

"We have handed a complete list of Ukrainian political prisoners to all our partners, and I am sure this will help push the process of having our citizens released."

In his speech at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, Zelensky called for a "revival" of the UN and its charter, noting that the organization had shown weakness in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, ignored participation in the Crimea Platform summit, and failed to respond properly to Russia's issuing passports to residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and the involvement of Ukrainian citizens in the State Duma election.