President Volodymyr Zelensky / Photo from

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that the dates and stages of the release of all detained Ukrainians are being discussed as part of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Donbas, eastern Ukraine.

"We will not waste a single day waiting for a meeting in the Normandy format [for the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France]. You know that we have Trilateral Contact Group meetings in Minsk. In Minsk, we discuss the stages of the return of all our citizens. Deadlines and stages," Zelensky said on September 12 at a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö, who came on an official visit to Kyiv.

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The Ukrainian president also mentioned the recent release by the Russian Federation of 24 Ukrainian sailors and 11 political prisoners, who returned home as part of a major prisoner swap. "It's a great happiness for the families of these people and for each of us," he said.

Zelensky also said that along with preparations for the Normandy Four meeting, the parties were working on a roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk agreements with clear deadlines for the stages of its implementation.

"We will really be getting ready for the Normandy format. There are Minsk agreements, there is the Normandy format. Apart from this, we are elaborating a roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk agreements with clear deadlines. This is the most important thing to me," he said.