KIEV, September 10. /TASS/. Kiev seeks to return 113 Ukrainian citizens who are currently in Russian prisons before the end of 2019, Verkhovna Rada’s Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova reported on Tuesday.
"There are prospects of an exchange. I think a swap will take place this year," she said on Ukrainian TV channel "1+1" live.
Denisova specified that the negotiation process with Russia on this likely swap is continuing. Kiev intends to return more than 100 of its citizens. "We won’t stop, we are holding personal negotiations: the president and the head of the working group, that is Mr. [Andrei] Yermak (aide of Ukraine’s president - TASS) are holding negotiations to return everyone. There are 113 of our citizens - those who were identified - including 89 Crimean Tatars," the commissioner said.
On September 7, Moscow and Kiev carried out a 35-for-35 prisoner swap. The groundwork for the exchange was laid after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s election. The active phase of the negotiations and the registration of legal procedures for the two countries’ citizens, who had to be included in the list, started several weeks ago. On September 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the exchange would be a large-scale one and may become a step toward the normalization of bilateral relations.