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Poroshenko assures Russian military detained in Ukraine to be handed over to Russia

August 29, 2014, 14:52 UTC+3 SELIGER

“This is a technical issue,” Putin says

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Druzhynin

SELIGER, August 29./ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gave assurances to Vladimir Putin at the talks in Minsk earlier this week that several Russian Army servicemen detained in Ukraine would be handed over to Russia.

Putin said this while meeting with young Russians participating in the activities of the Seliger youth camp.

“Petro Poroshenko and I spoke about it and he gave assurances to me the Russian servicemen would be turned over to Russia in the same way that we have been turning Ukrainian Army servicemen over to Ukraine,” he said.

“This is a technical issue,” Putin said regarding the servicemen’s return to Russia.

He recalled that the Russian authorities had given medical assistance to Ukrainian servicemen at Russian civilian hospitals.

“That’s why there are grounds to believe we’ll be mutually considerate in this case,” Putin said.

He commented on the general situation around the Russian military, who had unintentionally gotten into the territory of Ukraine, saying the Ukrainian military had gotten into Russian territory far more frequently and in much bigger numbers.

“There were cases when they found themselves in Russia and said they had taken the wrong road,” Putin said. “They were armed and were riding on armored vehicles by what they told us was true.”

He said he believed them because there was no demarcation of the frontier on the terrain in those places.

Humanitarian corridors

Encircled Ukrainian troops in the embattled southeast of the country need to use offered humanitarian corridors for their retreat and it would be a huge mistake, which would result in mass casualties, if they try to break out in some other way, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

“This is a tragedy,” Putin said. “This is why I appealed to Donbass rebels to open humanitarian corridors to allow people to leave.”

The president said that many encircled troops in the cauldrons “have been without water and food for several days, so give them the chance to leave.”

However, he said, “the command of the Ukrainian Army decided not to let them out of the cauldron and attempts to draw apart militia forces and battle out their way from the encirclement.”

“In my opinion, this is a tremendous mistake, which could result in mass human casualties,” Putin said adding that all the developments in Ukraine is “a big tragedy.

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