October 4, 2019 / 8:06 AM / 10 days ago

Ukraine plans second major prisoner swap with Russia - Kiev

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine plans to carry out a major prisoner swap with Russia and hopes it will take place next week, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said late on Thursday.

The comments come after a breakthrough at talks between Moscow and Kiev this week that open the way for an international summit to be held aimed at ending the conflict between Kiev and pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine’s east.

Russia and Ukraine swapped dozens of prisoners on Sept. 7 in a carefully-negotiated rapprochement that was praised in the West and appeared to presage a thawing in relations that have been frozen since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

“I hope that very soon, and I mean literally next week, we plan an even more large-scale exchange,” Prystaiko said on a talk show on Ukraine’s 1+1 television channel late on Thursday.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Katya Golubkova

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