Ukraine is ready to exchange 35 Russia-backed militants on 20 Ukrainian citizens, said Yuriy Tandyt, negotiator of the intergovernmental group on the POW release and the Counselor to Head of the SBU (Ukraine’s Security Service). The official said this in an interview with 12 Ukraine TV channel.
“Yesterday, January 13, we discussed the format of the exchange, and we agreed it’s going to be 35 on 20. The operation conference took us the whole day, simultaneously with the Minsk Group meeting. I’m glad because I finally had something to tell the families of the hostages. I do hope Russia starts to abide by Minsk agreements, so that our citizens are released by January 20. We’re ready to exchange them for 35 fighters of the so-called DPR and LPR, and we expect to get back at least 20 of our citizens”, Tandyt said.
Previously, Martin Sajdik, OSCE Representative in the Minsk Trilateral Contact Group, said that the exchange of hostages between Ukraine and Russia-backed militants should take place by January 20.
January 13, Darka Olifer, Press Secretary of Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine’s representative in the Minsk Trilateral Contact Group reported that during the meeting of the Group, the negotiators agreed that the warring sides would release 50 hostages – on both sides. They will be released in the near future. “Special attention was paid to the matter of release of Ukrainian citizens from capture. Under Ukraine’s initiative, the sides came to mutual consent that more than 50 people will be released on both sides. Women, the wounded and the seriously ill are the first to be released”, she noted.