Ukraine Blames Kremlin for Rejecting Effort to Swap Prisoners

Yulia Surkova

(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine blamed Russia for rejecting an effort to swap prisoners for the first time in one and a half years.

Roman Bezsmertnyi, Ukraine’s representative in Minsk talks, said Thursday that Russia rejected a proposal to release 208 prisoners from separatist self-proclaimed republics in the country’s east in exchange of 69 Ukrainians held in territories outside government control.

This rejected swap wasn’t supposed to include 24 sailors detained last year. Last week, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy held negotiations by phone with President Vladimir Putin about a potential prisoner exchange between the neighbors locked in a deadly conflict for half a decade.

--With assistance from Kateryna Choursina.

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