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Federal Penitentiary Service doesn't mind Savchenko's hunger strikes

Federal Penitentiary Service doesn't mind Savchenko's hunger strikesThe hunger strikes of Ukrainian servicewoman Nadia Savchenko, who has been convicted in Russia, do not create serious risks to her health, Yulia Antonova, head of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service's medical department, told Interfax on Thursday.

"The current condition of Savchenko's health is satisfactory; she has been consuming nutrient mixtures, a full-value substitute for food," Antonova said.

"No health risks related to her hunger strikes are anticipated, and she remains under constant medical surveillance," she said.

"Any threat to Savchenko's life is out of the question," Antonova said.

Prison doctors "have everything they need to give any kind of medical assistance to Savchenko, who may be treated at facilities of the Health Ministry, if necessary," she said.

"If any foreign doctors ask to examine Savchenko, their request will be processed, there are no impediments to that on our part," the service representative said.

She added, though, that Savchenko "had not requested that her health be checked by other doctors."

Savchenko has been held in Russian custody since July 2014 after being kidnapped by Russia-backed separatists and illegally taken across the Ukrainian border.
On March 22, the Donetsk City Court in the Rostov region sentenced Savchenko to 22 years in a penitentiary on charges of complicity in the murder of Russian journalists. Savchenko prohibited her lawyers from appealing the sentence or filing a pardon request without her permission.

Savchenko denies all charges.

Read also: Negotiators at Minsk talks discussed Savchenko's verdict

Kyiv and the global community have more than once called the 'Savchenko case' politically motivated and demanded her release.

Savchenko went on several hunger strikes during the court proceeding, including a 'dry' hunger strike during which she refused to drink water. She said on the day her sentence was handed down to her, that the next hunger strike would begin on April 6 when the sentence was due to take effect.

According to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, doctors from the Charite Clinic (Germany) have agreed to visit Russia to examine Savchenko. The president also said that Ukraine had engaged the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and "specialists from that organization were ready to join the medical defense of Savchenko."

Deutsche Welle radio said earlier this week, with reference to the German Foreign Ministry, that Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier intended to raise the question of the future of Nadia Savchenko during his visit to Moscow on Wednesday.

German Foreign Ministry press secretary Sawsan Chebli said the day before the visit that Berlin was ready to send a medical team to Savchenko. "We have been holding negotiations to this effect, but haven't received the final reply yet," Chebli said, assuming that the German foreign minister would touch upon the issue during his meetings in Moscow.
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