KIEV, May 29. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Sunday he has reached an agreement with Russia to extradite two Ukrainian national convicted in Russia on terrorism and espionage charges.
"I can only say that, according to a preliminary agreement, we can hope for the return of [Yuri] Soloshenko and [Gennady] Afanasyev," he told the Inter television channel.
In March 2016, March the Ukrainian Justice Ministry asked Russia to release four Ukrainian citizens, including Yuri Soloshenko and Gennady Afanasiev, who were convicted in Russia for terrorism and spying. The Russian Justice Ministry explained in reply that such issues fell under the operation of the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and Russia’s Code of Criminal Procedure.
An exchange of 25 Ukrainian nationals kept in Donbass territories that are not controlled by Kiev will take place in the near future, Ptero Poroshenko said.
He said the Ukrainian side was working on the release of 25 Ukrainians kept in Donbass. "We are on the homestretch concerning the terms, the date and procedure of their release," he said, adding that prisoner exchange is his "top priority."
"The war cannot be over until the last prisoner is back home, until the last killed is paid due honor, until the last missing is found and brought back home," Poroshenko said.
Earlier, Ukraine said it is ready for a prisoner exchange in the 25-for-50 format under the Minsk agreements.
Prisoner exchanges in the all-for-all format is one of the key provisions of the Package of Measures on the implementation of the Minsk agreements that was signed in the Belarusian capital Minsk on February 12 after marathon talks between the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.
Apart from that, the 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, in particular included an agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including establishment of working subgroups as priority tasks.