Russia and Ukraine may start the prisoner swap process by the end of this week, news agency Interfax reports with reference to diplomatic sources. Another expected date is September, 7.
However, the presumed agreement seems to be of preliminary nature.
“By the moment, only framework deals have been reached. The sides are expected to ultimately agree on the date and conditions of the exchange in the middle of the week,” one of the sources stressed.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin is not going to make any official comment on the information.
“This issue is sensitive. There cannot be any announcements here. The fact will become known,” Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said when reached by state-run news agency TASS.
On August 21, news agency UNIAN reported with reference to prison officials that Ukrainian citizens Volodymyr Balukh, Stanyslav Klykh, Mykola Karpyuk, Oleksandr Kolchenko and Pavlo Hryb had been transferred to the Moscow-based detention centre Lefortovo. On August 29, the news about film director Oleg Sentsov’s being transported to Lefortovo appeared. In addition, there were high hopes that 24 captured sailors and Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko would be also swapped.
Although a number of media said that the prisoner swap was scheduled for August 30, the public’s expectations were deceived. The reason for the delay has not been voiced by either Kyiv or Moscow.