“Back in February 2015, Ella Pamfilova, who was Russia’s Ombudsman at the time, said that 22 Crimean inmates expressed willingness to serve their prison sentences in mainland Ukraine.

Since the problem cannot be resolved within the current international legal framework, I have prepared a draft memorandum introducing an ad hoc mechanism for transferring inmates from Crimea to mainland of Ukraine through mediation of Ukraine and Russia’s Ombudswomen,” says a letter written by Lutkovskaya.

Back then, Valeriya Lutkovskaya agreed to accept convicted Crimeans willing to serve their prison sentences in Ukraine, but Lutkovskaya’s proposals were rejected by Pamfilova.

22 Ukrainian citizens, i.e. the ones who were in prison in Crimea at the time of its annexation by Russia, are currently serving their sentences in Crimean penal institutions. The Ukrainian side is still open to negotiations regarding the transfer of the inmates to mainland Ukraine.

According to Lutkovskaya, Ukraine ‘has been using human rights rhetoric’ during the negotiations', citing international law, as well as the UN or Council of Europe’s documents. However, representatives of the Russian Federation consider this approach anti-Russian.