Ukraine is going to return 113 its citizens who are staying in Russia’s 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 the swap will take place this year," she said on Ukrainian TV channel "1+1" live, TASS reports.
Denisova specified that the negotiation process with Russia on the swap continues. Kiev intends to return more than 100 its citizens. "We do not 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 our citizens - those who were identified - including 89 Crimean Tatars," the commissioner said.
On September 7, Moscow and Kiev carried out a prisoner swap under the "35 for 35" formula. The preparations for the exchange were galvanized 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 will be large-scale and may become a step toward the normalization of bilateral relations.