Translated by Ollie Richardson
UPDATE: According to the press service of the Kremlin, the telephone call between Putin and the heads of the Donbass republics already took place, in the evening of the same day.
On November 15th the President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that he will talk to the leadership of the DPR and LPR concerning the offer on the exchange of prisoners that was made by the leader of the pro-Russian social movement “Ukrainian Choice” Viktor Medvedchuk. Footage of the conversation was shown on the central TV channels.
This is the first official statement by Putin about direct negotiations with the leadership of the LPR and the DPR. Medvedchuk addressed this request to the President of Russia in Istra in the main church during the President’s visit to the recently restored New Jerusalem Monastery.
According to Medvedchuk, there hasn’t been an exchange of prisoners for 14 months, but now Ukraine is ready to exchange 306 prisoners for 74 persons taken prisoner by the forces of the DPR and LPR, and to conduct this before Christmas and New Year. Medvedchuk asked Putin to address the heads of the Republics Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky with a request to carry out an exchange.
The patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill, who was present during the conversation, asked Putin to support Medvedchuk’s appeal.
“I will do all I can and speak with the leadership of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. I hope what you are proposing will be done as soon as possible,” answered Putin.
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