Putin confirms large-scale prisoner exchange with Ukraine

Vladimir Putin during the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum. Photo: Kremli.ru

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine will be large-scale. The negotiations are to finish soon, while in Kyiv the main witness in the case of the shot down MH17 was released.

“I think it [the exchange – Belsat.eu] will be quite a large-scale one, and it would be a good step forward in the direction of normalization,” Putin said during the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, TASS reported.

According to him, the negotiations on the exchange are coming to an end. At the same time, the head of Russia admitted that the Russian authorities “found it quite difficult to make decisions with regard to specific people”.

Key witness in the Boeing case at large

Meanwhile, on 5 September, the Kyiv Court of Appeal released former militant of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) nilitary group Vladimir Tsemakh, RBK-Ukraine reports.

Earlier, former Verkhovna Rada deputy Mustafa Nayem said that the exchange of prisoners was delayed because Moscow demanded the extradition of Tsemakh, a key witness in the case of Boeing MH17. Russian military are suspected of shooting it down in Donbas on 17 July 2014.

Tsemakh and the former chief of staff of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republican Defence Ministry, Dmytro Kupriyan (call sign Batya), were supposed to testify at the international trial in the MH17 case by video call as witnesses. The trial is to begin in the Netherlands in 2020.


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