Ukraine plans to carry out a major prisoner swap with Russia and hopes it will take place next week, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said late on Thursday.
The comments come after a breakthrough at talks between Moscow and Kiev this week that open the way for an international summit to be held aimed at ending the conflict between Kiev and pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine’s east.
Russia and Ukraine swapped dozens of prisoners on Sept. 7 in a carefully negotiated rapprochement that was praised in the West and appeared to presage a thawing in relations that have been frozen since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
“I hope that very soon, and I mean literally next week, we plan an even more large-scale exchange,” Prystaiko said on a talk show on Ukraine’s 1+1 television channel late on Thursday.
Russia continues work on arranging a fresh prisoner swap with Ukraine and favors an all-for-all exchange, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
Peskov also said work was under way to set the date for a “Normandy Four” summit on Ukraine following a breakthrough in peace talks this week, but no specific timeframe has been agreed so far.