MOSCOW, September 25. /TASS/. The Russian-Ukrainian exchange of detainees could take place largely due to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s role, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Kommersant daily, posted online on Wednesday.
"At some stage, there appeared problems - as it used to happen before - they tried to deviate from the list of agreed surnames. However, we managed to overcome the difficulties. It is Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky that must be honored," Lavrov said.
"As far as I understand, he played a decisive role so that the exchange could take place. In fact, this has slightly improved relations between Moscow and Kiev. Taking into account that Russia takes an active part in the Normandy Four talks, in the Contact Group on Ukraine, this can also help create a more favorable atmosphere in regard to Donbass," he added.
On September 7, Russia and Ukraine exchanged detainees in conformity with the ‘35 for 35’ principle. Preparations for the swap intensified after Zelensky had been elected Ukrainian president.