ANKARA, September 23. /TASS/. The prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine was held following negotiations that lasted 3-3.5 months, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Friday.
"The negotiations started 3-3.5 months ago. Our president has constantly discussed the prisoner exchange issue with the leaders [of Russia and Ukraine]. We made a proposal to bring five people, as because of them the whole process could have stalled, to Turkey. Thanks to the proposal we put forward, the exchange became possible," Kalin said, referring to commanders of the Azov nationalist battalion, which is designated as a terrorist organization and banned in Russia.
According to Erdogan’s spokesman, Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization played a crucial part in the exchange process.
In addition, Kalin said that all the individuals airlifted to Turkey "are in a reliable place and will remain there until the end of the war.".