Ukraine is ready to let out as many people as would be enough to secure a release of all Ukrainian hostage and political prisoners held in Russia or in territories under its control, UNN has quoted Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin as saying at a briefing.
"We are prepared to take any steps to secure a release of our guys. We have Russian citizens who are here today. They have corresponding convictions. Everyone clearly understands how Russia is using a release of political prisoners as well as hostages for manipulations… We are ready to let out as many as would be enough to pull back all indeed," he said.
He noted that Ukraine had put forward various options of how to arrange a release.
"If the Russian Federation, being the occupying authorities, is not ready to go forward, let them explain this to our partners in the Normandy format [Germany and France]," he said.
Over the time of the war in Donbas, the Ukrainian authorities have managed to negotiate the release or exchange of over 3,200 Ukrainian citizens detained in occupied territories.
Ukraine's prime concern at the moment is the fate of Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was sentenced to 20 years in a high-security colony in Russia, and Ukrainian Crimean activist Volodymyr Balukh, who has been on a hunger strike for over 90 days because of his persecution by the occupying authorities.