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Poroshenko Says Ukrainian Prisoner Exchange May Start Saturday: Media

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told reporters Friday on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales that the prisoner exchange, agreed in Minsk Friday, may begin on September 6.

MOSCOW, September 5 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told reporters Friday on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales that the prisoner exchange, agreed in Minsk Friday, may begin on September 6.

"We are expecting, in the very near future, the release of hostages, most probably it will happen tomorrow," Poroshenko said in a statement broadcasted live by BBC.

The Ukrainian president added that the ceasefire agreement is based on his peace plan.

"It is very important the ceasefire lasts a long time... and we continue a political dialogue," Poroshenko said.

The president mentioned that there is a roadmap with a practical date when every single point from the protocol should be undertaken.

Poroshenko also promised that steps on decentralization of power in Donetsk and Luhansk will be taken which guarantee economic freedoms and the rights to use any languages.

Participants of the Contact Group in Minsk signed a protocol envisaging a ceasefire and the release of prisoners earlier in the day. The ceasefire agreement came into force at 6 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT).

Earlier, a source familiar with the protocol told RIA Novosti that one of the protocol’s main provisions envisages a prisoner swap under the “all for all” scheme.

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