The prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine may be launched before the end of this week, August 8, according to Russia's media.
"The exchange may start before the end of the week, the probable date is September 7," Russia's Interfax news outlet reported on September 4, referring to one of its diplomatic sources.
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Another source, having confirmed that the swap is planned to be held on Saturday, said the agreements were preliminary. "So far, only framework agreements have been reached. The parties will finally agree on the date and conditions of the exchange in the middle of the week," he said.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin refrained from commenting on reports that the prisoner swap might begin on September 7.
"The topic is sensitive. There can be no announcements," Russian President's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told Interfax, promising: "The fact will become known."
As UNIAN reported earlier, on August 21, the administration of a Moscow-based Lefortovo pre-trial detention center confirmed that Ukrainian political prisoners Volodymyr Balukh, Stanislav Klykh, Mykola Karpiuk, Oleksandr Kolchenko, and Pavlo Hryb were transferred there from penal colonies.
On August 29 came the reports that Ukrainian political prisoner Oleh Sentsov was also transferred to Lefortovo.
In addition, there was information that Ukrainian journalist Roman Suschenko and 24 POW sailors were also set to be exchanged.
It was also reported that the exchange of held persons should take place on August 29 or August 30. However, on August 30, the Office of the President of Ukraine noted that the process of negotiations on the exchange of prisoners was still ongoing.
"The process of mutual release of held persons is ongoing. Reports about its completion are false. When the mutual release of held persons is completed, the President's Office will report about it via official channels," the statement said.
At the same time, lawyer of certain Russians held in Ukraine Valentyn Rybin earlier suggested the exchange might take place on September 3.