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Russia welcomes exchange of detainees in Ukraine

Moscow hails exchange between Kiev, rival separatists from Donetsk and Lugansk regions as 'positive step'

Elena Teslova   | 31.12.2019
Russia welcomes exchange of detainees in Ukraine

MOSCOW 

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday welcomed the exchange of 200 detainees carried out over the weekend by Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russian separatists at a checkpoint in eastern Ukraine.

The swap took place on Dec. 29 in accordance with agreements reached at the Paris summit of the Normandy Four countries comprising Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine.

"Moscow welcomes this important humanitarian step, which has allowed dozens of people to be reunited with their families and to welcome the coming New Year with their relatives and friends," the ministry said in a statement published on its official website.

Russia expects work to continue in 2020 on implementing the Minsk agreements to resolve the situation in eastern Ukraine.

On Dec. 9 at the Normandy Four Summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to exchange all identified captives from both sides.

Russia and Ukraine have been at loggerheads since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea after a controversial referendum.

Turkey as well as the UN General Assembly viewed the annexation as illegal.

Ukraine has also blamed the Kremlin for separatist violence in eastern Ukraine near the border with Russia.

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