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Lavrov urges West to influence Kiev in prisoner release issue

June 15, 13:52 UTC+3
The minister who was speaking in the State Duma on Wednesday noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry is working to identify, support and release Russian prisoners in Ukraine
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© Alexandr Shalgin/Russia's parliament press service/TASS

MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on the West to exert influence on Ukraine to make sure that the authorities in Kiev make further steps to release prisoners.

The minister who was speaking in the State Duma (lower house of parliament) on Wednesday noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry is working to identify, support and release Russian prisoners in Ukraine. "This work is carried out not only by the Foreign Ministry, we cooperate with other agencies," Lavrov said. "The list (of Russians detained or reported missing in Ukraine - TASS) that we have may be incomplete, because very often no one says anything about the disappearance of our citizens. Relatives know nothing either. We just cannot obtain this information."

"Work is in progress," Lavrov went to say. "We constantly demand that these issues are clarified. As you know, the process to coordinate prisoner exchange is underway within the Contact Group. We want to make sure that all those detained, all those who remain in custody are identified, either within or outside the framework of the Minsk agreements."

"We are ready to deal with the fate of each of our citizens," Russia’s top diplomat said. "This is a priority area of our work in the Ukrainian direction, as well as in the American and European directions, because without Western influence one can hardly expect Kiev to agree to normal steps in this regard.".

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