MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk never had any backstage relations with Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday.
"Medvedchuk’s views in favor of building normal, mutually beneficial, partnerial relations between Ukraine and Russia are well-known. This stance of his has always been open. Medvedchuk never had any backstage relations with Russia," Peskov said. "Even if one hypothetically imagines this, Medvedchuk should have left Ukrainian territory before the beginning of the special operation. As we can see, he did not do this."
He noted that Medvedchuk as a Verkhovna Rada lawmaker, "renowned Ukrainian opposition politician, who lead an opposition party, who had his own views on the events in Ukraine and his own position."
"Medvedchuk always advocated peace, always called for peace and against the war, against expansion of the conflict in Donbass. By the way, should Ukrainian state policy have taken his and his party’s ideas into account, there would have been no military operation," the spokesman underscored.
Peskov also pointed out that Russia and Donbass are "very grateful to Medvedchuk for organization of exchange of detainees in the few recent years, on for dealing with other humanitarian issues, which he was working on." The spokesman added that Medvedchuk did this work under direct request from Kiev authorities.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced Medvedchuk’s apprehension, publishing a photo of a handcuffs man resembling Medvedchuk. He also voiced an offer to exchange him for Ukrainian POWs.