WASHINGTON (QHA) -

The US State Department called on Russia to release more than 60 Ukrainian political prisoners, the US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert stated on her Twitter page.

Nauert stressed that the US will never recognize the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.

“Bottom line, Crimea is Ukraine. We will never recognize #Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. Russia should release its 60+ Crimean political prisoners, including Oleh Sentsov (on hunger strike since May 14), reads the message.

Earlier, the US Embassy in Ukraine expressed support for the political prisoner, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and called for his release.

Oleg Sentsov started the hunger strike on May 14, demanding the Russian authorities to release 64 Ukrainian political prisoners.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mariana Betsa said that Ukraine is considering all possible options for the liberation of Oleg Sentsov. She stressed that the option of exchanging Oleg Sentsov for the director of Russian information agency "RIA Novosti Ukraina" Kirill Vyshinsky, who was detained in Kyiv on suspicion of state treason, is possible.

Reference: In late August 2015, the North Caucasus Military District Court of Russia sentenced Oleg Sentsov to 20 years in prison.

QHA