French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the case of jailed Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation later today, Reuters reports, citing a source in Macron's office.
Senstov, in a Russian prison on terrorist charges, has been on a hunger strike since May 14 and is reportedly seriously ill. The European film industry, which protested Senstov's arrest and imprisonment, calling the charges politically motivated, has mounted a campaign to have the director freed.
Earlier this week, a number of prominent Russian cultural figures, including Golden Globe winning and Oscar-nominated director Andrei Zvyaginstev (Loveless, Leviathan) signed an open letter to Macron, calling on him to help organize a visit by the International Committee of the Red Cross to Sentsov. On Thursday, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov also confirmed that the Russian President received letter from Sentsov's mother, in which she asked Putin to pardon her son.
"I am aware that the letter arrived at a relevant division of the president's administration, but I cannot speak about any reaction to it at the moment," Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian state-run news service TASS. "Under the pardoning procedure, a certain set of actions has to be carried out, according to the law," he added.