"We are ready to take any steps to free our citizens. There are Russian citizens in Ukraine [who were convicted]...the verdicts in their cases have been delivered already. We are ready to make decisions," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said in a commentary to journalists, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
The minister added that everyone understood how Russia wangled the release of political prisoners and Ukrainian hostages held in Russia.
"However, we have demonstrated that we are ready to release the required number [of Russians] to free all [Ukrainians]," Klimkin said.
He reminded that during the Normandy Four format meeting in Berlin, he had shown Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a list of Russian citizens, who had been convicted and now stay in Ukraine. Lavrov mentioned the opportunity for creating a “road map” of exchange.
"This road map, unfortunately, is a map of Russian wangles, but we still have to move forward in the issue of the release of hostages, we need to step up the pressure," the Ukrainian minister believes.
Finally, he expressed confidence that the pressure, which is being put on Russia by Ukraine with the help of the international community, will help.
As reported, about 70 Ukrainian political prisoners are held in Russia and in the territory of the occupied Crimea, including Ukrinform correspondent Roman Sushchenko, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison on trumped-up espionage charges.
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