WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Ukrainian pilot and lawmaker Nadiya Savchenko on Thursday thanked Poland for its support in obtaining her release after almost two years of Russian captivity.
Savchenko, 35, attended a session of Poland's Parliament and met with Deputy Parliament Speaker Ryszard Terlecki, other lawmakers and with the opposition leader Grzegorz Schetyna, a former foreign minister.
She told reporters she wanted to thank her "Polish friends" for support, also expressed in private letters to her.
Savchenko also said that more effort is still needed to help other Ukrainians held in Russia. She called on Poles and Ukrainians, neighboring nations, to overcome their grudges stemming from their tragic World War II history.
She was in Warsaw on the eve of a NATO summit that is also to hold a meeting on ties with Ukraine, with the participation of Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko.
Warsaw supports Ukraine's pro-democracy and pro-European forces, and Poland's lawmakers and officials spoke publicly in Savchenko's defense when she was held in Russia, where she was convicted on charges of contributing to the deaths of two Russian journalists and given a 22-year prison term. She denied the charges.
Her defiance before the Russian court has earned her celebrity status in Ukraine. She was released in May and swapped for two Russians convicted of fighting in eastern Ukraine.