Russia and Ukraine have completed historic large-scale prisoner exchange work, said Liu Yupeng, a special correspondent of the Global Times in Ukraine. On July 7, according to an agreement reached between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Zelenski, each side released 35 detained citizens of the other side. President Zelenski said this was the first step to end the conflict in the Dunbas region. The international media generally believed that the relationship between Russia and Ukraine began to warm up.
According to Russian Viewpoint on the 7th, the Ukrainian side released 35 Russian prisoners, including Vyshenski, president of the Ukrainian branch of the Russian news agency, and Shermah, commander of the pro-Russian armed forces. In exchange, Russia released 24 Ukrainian naval soldiers detained in the conflict in the Kachi Strait on November 25 last year and 11 Ukrainians accused of endangering Russias national security in Crimea and other places.
The Russian Foreign Ministry commented on its website that this is a positive signal and that other important steps should be taken to normalize relations between the two countries. Today Russia television editor-in-chief Simonian said that Zelenskis administration gave Russia and Ukraine a glimmer of hope for normalization of relations. We may not be able to restore friendship, but at least we can stop the war. There was absolutely no such hope during Poloshenkos reign. This is the first positive and gratifying event in Russia-Ukraine relations in five years.
After the prisoner exchange, Putin and Zelenski had a telephone conversation on the 7th. The Kremlin Press Bureau said that the two sides discussed the mediation of the internal situation in Ukraine and stressed the importance of abiding by the ceasefire system and gradually withdrawing troops and weapons from the military contact line.
The Office of the President of Ukraine said that Russia and Ukraine are satisfied with the implementation of the agreement reached within the framework of the first phase of normalization of dialogue. The two presidents agreed to hold consultations on the Normandy Quartet in the near future. Zelenski revealed that in the second stage, all detainees from both sides would be released. The two sides also reached an agreement on withdrawal of troops from the military contact line by the parties to the Dunbas conflict. In the final stage, Ukraine would regain control of the border between Donetsk and Lugansk.
Ukraines new foreign minister, Pristaiko, said Wednesday that Ukraine will continue consultations with Russia on the release of detainees. Russias Tass News Agency reported that Mikhail Poglibinski, director of the Kiev Center for Political Research and Conflict Studies, said that the mutual release of detained citizens between Russia and Ukraine meant that relations between the two countries were warming up moderately and that direct dialogue between the two countries was fruitful, but do not cherish the illusion of rapid normalization of relations.
Source: Global Network Responsible Editor: Li Zaixing_NBJS9026