Russian Court orders arrest in absentia of Ukrainian ministers

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A MOSCOW court has ordered the arrest in absentia of two Ukrainian ministers after they were accused of violating Russia’s territorial integrity.

The decision came following a request by the FSB security service to arrest in absentia Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk and Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova.

“The request has been granted,” Anastasia Romanova, spokeswoman for Moscow’s Lefortovsky district court, told AFP.

Russia said in September it had annexed four Ukrainian regions its forces only partially controlled after holding so-called referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk in the east and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south.

Senior Ukrainian political figures including President Volodymyr Zelensky have travelled across the country including to the regions Moscow claimed to have annexed despite the fighting.

In his latest trip, Zelensky on Tuesday visited the town of Sloviansk near the frontline.

Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s minister for the reintegration of the occupied territories, travelled to Kherson after Kyiv’s forces recaptured the city in November.

Dzhaparova, a Crimean Tatar, promotes issues related to the ethnic minority on the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia is 2014, and calls for international support for the “de-occupation of Crimea and its return to Ukraine”.

Both women have been put on Russia’s wanted list.

In response to the Russian security service’s request Dzhaparova quipped that Moscow had recognised “the effectiveness of my work.”

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