During a press conference in Russia, Former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych announced that he is ready to initiate a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the exchange of prisoners according to the “all for all” procedure.
“If necessary, if there is such initiative on the Ukrainian side, I am ready to talk with Putin and submit such proposal,” said Yanukovych.
According to him, for this to happen he needs some initiative from the President Petro Poroshenko, and the order of exchange should take place according to the "all for all" principle.
A year ago, Yanukovych said that after his escape to Russia, he met Putin a few times. “Firstly, there is no need. Secondly, he is a busy man,” explained the former president, who lives in the Russian Federation, having received the status of temporary asylum.
In 2018 only three Ukrainians were released from Russian captivity. During the last Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas meeting last year, representatives of the Russian Federation left the negotiating room when the Ukrainian side raised the prisoners’ release issue.
In January 2019, at the meeting of the Trilateral Contact group, they again failed to agree on the exchange of prisoners. The last large-scale hostage exchange between Ukraine and the so-called Luhansk and Donbas Peoples Republics in the Donbas took place on December 27, 2017.