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Zelensky calls for exchange of prisoners in "all-to-all" format

Normalization of relations between Russia and Ukraine is possible only after the de-occupation of territories, newly elected president added
16:42, 28 April 2019

Volodymyr Zelensky at a press conference after results of the exit polls were revealed, April 21, 2019
Zoya Shu/112.ua

The elected president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, called for an exchange of prisoners in "all-to-all" format. He stated this on Facebook, commenting on the statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin about the intention to simplify the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship by Ukrainians.

"I emphasize once again that I am ready for negotiations. I hope that at the next meeting in the Normandy format, Russia will demonstrate readiness for de-escalation. A concrete confirmation of this readiness should be the mutual exchange of our citizens in the "all-to-all" format. Without exceptions. We are ready to discuss the new conditions for the coexistence of Ukraine and Russia. With the understanding that real normalization will take place only after full de-occupation of Donbas and Crimea. Ukraine does not give up! In every sense of the word, "wrote Zelensky.

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“But I hope that in Russia, nevertheless, they are more eager to talk than to shoot,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is thinking of issuing passports of the Russian Federation under a simplified procedure to all residents of Ukraine. Prior to that, Russia announced its intention to simplify the acquisition of citizenship to residents of the “DNR” and “LNR” after the elections in Ukraine.

Related: Zelensky to Putin: I am ready to negotiate in Normandy format

Earlier Zelensky stated that Russia should not spend their time in vain with their attempts to lure the citizens of Ukraine into getting Russian passports. Zelensky wrote on Facebook.

“…I would not advise the Russian authorities to waste time by trying to tempt Ukrainian citizens with passports of the Russian Federation,” Zelensky said.

The new leader of Ukraine suggested that those who were still under the influence of propaganda perhaps want to obtain Russian passports.

Perhaps someone will do it to earn money or to hide from criminal investigations.

Zelensky emphasized that the difference between Ukraine and Russia was that Ukrainians had freedom of speech, free media, and the Internet in their country.

“So we know perfectly well what Russian passport really means,” he claimed.

According to the newly elected president, the Russian passport gives the possibility to be arrested for a peaceful protest, to have no free and competitive elections, or even to forget about the existence of human rights and freedoms in general.

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