“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.
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.
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.
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.