Russian President Vladimir Putin has walked his part of the walk to have a swap of detainees between Russia and Ukraine, meeting them at the airport is not the leader’s prerogative, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday, responding to a question why Putin did not arrive at the airport to personally welcome and greet the swap participants unlike Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
"Overall, this is not the Russian leader’s prerogative. The head of the state walked his part of the walk to have the swap implemented. This is the main thing and not whether he arrived at the airport," he said.
Peskov failed to comment on the question whether Russian citizenship would be issued for the Ukrainians swapped by Ukraine, TASS reports.
On September 7, Moscow and Kiev swapped prisoners on the ‘35 for 35’ formula. Preparations for the prisoner swap intensified after Vladimir Zelensky had been elected Ukraine’s president. Several weeks ago, the negotiations entered an active phase and legal procedures began for the two countries’ nationals who had been added to the list. On September 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the exchange would be massive and might be a step towards mending bilateral ties.
On September 7, Zelensky arrived at Kiev’s Boryspil International Airport to greet the plane from Moscow with Ukrainian citizens onboard, who returned home as part of the swap. General Prosecutor of Ukraine Ruslan Ryaboshapka and relatives of the detainees also came to the airport.