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Russian Orthodox patriarch announces prisoner swap deal in Ukraine

IANS  |  Moscow 

The of the on Monday announced that a deal had been struck for a prisoner exchange between Ukrainian authorities and the self-proclaimed popular republics of and in the east of the country.

The Patriarch of and All Rus, Kirill, said the upcoming prisoner swap would be held on Wednesday after both sides of the Ukrainian conflict had reached an agreement on all conditions, reported.

"Today, the process of coordinating all the details regarding the exchange of prisoners of war between the 'Popular Republic', 'Popular Republic' and has come to a completion at St. Daniel's Monastery," said, as quoted by news agency.

The Orthodox Patriarch had previously met the leaders of the eastern Ukrainian separatist regions of and Luhansk, and Leonid Pasechnik, respectively.

"I hope that the upcoming prisoner exchange that will begin the process -- because not all of those remaining in captivity for a while have been included in the lists -- but I express my ardent hope that this first stage will entail further efforts to release those imprisoned," added.

Meanwhile, Zakharchenko suggested the exchange would use the "306 for 74" formula, meaning would free 306 captured rebels while the pro-militants would release 74 Ukrainian soldiers in exchange.

"This would be a very serious step in the implementation of the agreements and issues of peace in the Donbas region," said Viktor Medvedchuk, of the Kremlin-aligned "Ukrainian Choice" group.

Russian had vowed on November 15 that he would do everything in his power to help the prisoner swap take place.

According to the United Nations, more than 10,000 people -- including both combatants and civilians -- have died in eastern since the conflict erupted in 2014.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 25 2017. 22:18 IST