United States Chargé d’Affaires to Ukraine William Taylor says Russia does not support various formats for exchanging the Ukrainian nationals illegally held in Russia for Russian citizens detained in Ukraine for their encroachment on territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
Speaking at a Kyiv briefing on Tuesday, June 25, Taylor spoke about the upcoming meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, set to be held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Japan's Osaka late June.
"If President Trump does meet with President Putin in Japan, that would be a great opportunity for President Trump to raise the issue of the 24 sailors, the other prisoners that the Russians are illegally holding," Taylor said.
In this regard, the diplomat added that the issue of Ukrainians held by Russia "would be one reason for that meeting to take place".
At the same time, Taylor noted that that the possible exchange is the topic of discussions between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin.
"There are issues and suggestions of maybe 'five Ukrainians for five Russians', '10 Ukrainians for 10 Russians'… The Russians have a different view. But we are very supportive of that kind of step, that kind of exchange," the diplomat stressed.
The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires recalled his term in Ukraine as Ambassador (2006-2009), noting that his key priority after his return to Ukraine would be efforts to put a stop to Russian aggression in Donbas.
He added that no less important is Ukraine's fight against corruption and ineffective management, and that he remains optimistic about cooperation with Ukraine and its civil society to help the country win the fight on both fronts.