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Foreign Ministry dismisses allegations it is not negotiating Kochneva release

28.02.2013, 06:13
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has stated once again that it is negotiating the release of Ukrainian citizen Anhar Kochneva, who was abducted in Syria, Kyiv Post reported. 

"We continue to take all necessary measures, the negotiation process continues," Acting Director of the Foreign Ministry's Information Policy Department Yevhen Perebyinis told an Interfax-Ukraine reporter, while commenting on Kochneva's relatives' allegations that the ministry has not even started negotiations on releasing her.

As reported, Kochneva's relatives stated, referring to the Syrian abductors, that the ministry is not negotiating her release. The abductors agree to discuss Ukraine's terms and conditions, but the Foreign Ministry is ignoring the negotiations, and there are no negotiations at the moment, the relatives said.

As for financial terms of Kochneva's release, the rebels are now prepared to consider any options proposed by Kyiv, according to Kochneva's relatives.

Kochneva was abducted in Syria by rebels from the so-called Free Syrian Army in October 2012. The journalist's abductors threatened to kill her if they were not paid a $50-million ransom. In January, the rebels told the journalist's relatives they agreed to reduce the ransom to $300,000.

On January 31, 2013, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara told reporters he had sent a request regarding EU assistance in releasing the Ukrainians convicted in Libya and Kochneva to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The EU reportedly promised to facilitate the journalist's release. 

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