KIEV, September 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky held a polite and equal discussion on the issue of prisoner exchange, Ukrainian Presidential Aide Andrei Yermak said in an interview with Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper that was published on Monday.
"I attend many negotiations, and in my experience, the position of our president, the attitude towards him, his ability to hold talks does not suppose an impolite discussion with anyone. This has been an equal discussion between two presidents," Yermak said in response to a question about the atmosphere of the talks between Putin and Zelensky.
He added that the talks between the leaders, namely the August 7 phone call, were constructive, which helped facilitate the prisoner swap. "The release took place due to constructive dialogue. All difficulties mainly concerned legal procedures," Yermak said, adding that "the difficulty was that all the people located on the territory of Russia were in different cities, and they had to be transported to one place." For its part, Ukraine needed to carry out separate legal procedures for the release of every person, he added.
The aide stressed that the agreements between Zelensky and Putin were not modified. "There have been no modifications to the agreements. Everything that the president agreed to during the phone call has been implemented," Yermak noted.
On September 7, Moscow and Kiev carried out a "35 for 35" exchange of detainees. The preparations for the exchange began after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s election. The active phase of negotiations and the registration of legal procedures for citizens of the two countries who were to be included in the list started several weeks ago. On September 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the exchange will be large-scale and may become a step towards the normalization of bilateral relations.