Ukraine Blames Kremlin for Rejecting Effort to Swap Prisoners

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-18/ukraine-blames-kremlin-for-rejecting-effort-to-swap-prisoners

Ukrainian sailors at court in Moscow on July 17.

Photographer: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine blamed Russia for rejecting an effort to swap prisoners for the first time in one and a half years.

Roman Bezsmertnyi, Ukraine’s representative in Minsk talks, said Thursday that Russia rejected a proposal to release 208 prisoners from separatist self-proclaimed republics in the country’s east in exchange of 69 Ukrainians held in territories outside government control.

This rejected swap wasn’t supposed to include 24 sailors detained last year. Last week, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy
held negotiations by phone
with President Vladimir Putin about a potential prisoner exchange between the neighbors locked in a deadly conflict for half a decade.

— With assistance by Kateryna Choursina

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