16 Nov 2017 14:31

Kyiv expecting 88 confirmed prisoners to be exchanged

KYIV. Nov 16 (Interfax) - Ukraine is hopeful that prisoners will be exchanged before the New Year, and the self-proclaimed Donbas republics have confirmed 88 prisoners on the 157-person list submitted by Kyiv, the Verkhovna Rada First Vice-Speaker, Iryna Herashchenko, told reporters in parliament on Thursday.

"The Kremlin has the key to the release of all hostages. Hopefully, positive results will be achieved by the New Year," Herashchenko said.

The Ukrainian Security Service has 157 Ukrainian hostages on its lists, but the Donbas republics have confirmed only 88 of them, she said.

"Only 88 people of ours have been confirmed, these are mostly military men. A majority of them have been held in the Makiivka penitentiary for three years. Ukraine is ready to transfer more than 300 persons requested by the other side," Herashchenko said.

"Ukraine is looking for every chance to release the hostages being held in the occupied territories," Herashchenko said. "We have expressed our readiness to transfer the persons they are requesting if this transfer complies with Ukrainian laws, if the laws are not breached and procedural norms are not violated," she said.