Ukraine's FM admits possible swap of Ukrainian political prisoners for detained Russian troops
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine does not rule out the possibility of exchange of two captive Russian soldiers for the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said in an interview with Ukrainian television’s Channel 5, according to Zerkalo Nedeli weekly newspaper.
"I will not deal with the interpretation of the signals of the Russian Justice Ministry. I believe that we must do everything in order to release Nadia Savchenko, Oleh Sentsov, all political prisoners," Klimkin said, commenting on a Wednesday statement by Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov, who did not rule out the possibility of a legal exchange through diplomatic channels.
"If it is necessary to go through the negotiations on the exchange, we certainly will look into this opportunity," said Klimkin.
According to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, any such steps should be taken after the "Ukrainian courts issue rulings regarding the Russian troops."
"First goes the legal side, and only then - all possible steps," he said.
Read alsoMatios: Investigation into two captive Russian soldiers' case overThe minister added that Ukraine had not seen "any offers or clear signals" from Russia.
"We should discuss it, but only on a clear legal basis," Klimkin said.
According to Klimkin, 11 Ukrainian political prisoners are being kept in Russia.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrykin claimed the extension of Russia's "universal jurisdiction" to the southeast of Ukraine and justification of "criminal prosecution" of top political and military leadership of Ukraine.