No new Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap deal in Turkey talks: Moscow

AFP , Thursday 12 Jan 2023

Russia and Ukraine have not reached a new prisoner exchange agreement during talks in Turkey, Moscow's envoy told AFP on Thursday, saying her earlier remarks about a swap were misinterpreted.

Prisoners swap talks
Russia and Ukraine were holding talks about an exchange of civilians. AP


Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova held rare talks in Ankara on Wednesday with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Lubinets.

Turkish state media later quoted her as telling reporters that they had agreed to exchange "more than 40 prisoners" from each side.

But Moskalkova told AFP that those comments referred to the number of people the sides had already exchanged in the past.

"Someone misunderstood something," Moskalkova said on the sidelines of an international conference in the Turkish capital.

"We were talking about the results of our past work. These exchanges already happened."

Moskalkova added that she and Lubinets had exchanged lists of wounded soldiers in preparation for a possible future swap.

"Such exchanges happen all the time. These agreements are reached by the military, and we work jointly with them."

The warring sides have held few direct contacts since Russia invaded its neighbor 11 months ago.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to use his good relations with both Moscow and Kyiv to arrange peace talks.

Erdogan said on Wednesday that he backed the idea of setting up a permanent "humanitarian corridor" in a war zone.

Moskalkova called it a "very important proposal" that still needed to be agreed upon with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The return of the wounded is a constant subject of our discussions, and Mr. Erdogan proposed a new way of solving this issue," she said.

"This will probably still need to be discussed with Russian President Putin, and with the state agencies involved in this line of work."

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