The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the recent release of Ukrainian political prisoners:
“Canada welcomes the release of 35 Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia, including filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, journalist Roman Sushchenko, and the 24 Ukrainian sailors detained in the Kerch Strait last November.
“We hope that today’s news can serve as a step forward for diplomacy and as a step towards ending the conflict in the Donbas.
“We applaud the efforts of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the many other representatives of the Ukrainian government and civil society who worked to secure the release of these political prisoners.
“We would also like to recognize the advocacy of Canadians on behalf of these detainees, which contributed to international efforts to push for their release.
“Canada stands resolutely with the people of Ukraine and will always defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs