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Large Ukraine-Russia prisoners’ exchange planned for next week, - Prystaiko

According to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Steinmeier formula is the part of the process, which was started by Zelensky for settlement of Donbas Conflict
09:40, 4 October 2019

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

The large-scale prisoners’ exchange between Ukraine and Russia is planned for the next week as 1+1 TV channel reported citing Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.

“You see that we succeeded to exchange our people. Soon, literally, next week, we plan an even larger exchange,” Prystaiko reported.

He drew attention that on November 28, 2015, Steinmeier formula was firmed. This document was elaborated by German and French Foreign Ministers.

However, the authority did not hold communication with the society on this plan, as Prystaiko noted.

Related: Steinmeier v. Zelensky: Consequences for Ukraine

He also underlined that Steinmeier formula is just a part of the process, which was started by Zelensky. The attempt to reach people who stay over the division line, build bridges, renew ties with people, stop shooting, disengage forces, start payments of pensions, return prisoners from Russian, Donbas and Crimean jails are among the main goals of the president. These steps will be made gradually.

The Normandy Format meeting will take place, on the proposal of the western partner of Ukraine, to draw things in common for these steps.

On September 7, the first stage of the prisoners’ exchange took place between Kyiv and Moscow in 35 for 35 format.

24 Ukrainian sailors and 11 political prisoners - already ex-political prisoners - captured by Russia over the past five years, returned to Ukraine. Faces of the released Ukrainian sailors, left activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, journalist Roman Sushchenko, Crimean Tatar Edem Bekirov and the rest of former captives were seen in the crowd. 

On October 1, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the next stage of the prisoners’ exchange was discussed during the session of Minsk Talks Group.

Related: Ukraine agreed to Steinmeier formula in exchange for Kolomoisky’s business with Russia, - political analyst

The same day, Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukraine reported on the agreement of Steinmeier formula text in response to the letter of OSCE Special Representative in Trilateral Contac Group Martin Sajdik.

Russia considers the possibility of participation in the Normandy Format summit after signing of Steinmeier formula by Ukrainian side.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that the Normandy Format summit will take place in Paris; however, she did not specify the date of the summit.

 

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