07:18 GMT27 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Rossiya Segodnya news agency, expressed on Saturday cautious optimism regarding possible normalization of relations between Russia and Ukraine, following the release of detainees by both sides, including RIA Novosti Ukraine's Kirill Vyshinsky.

    "This gives a cautious, tiniest, but still hope that maybe with this [Ukrainian] government we will get somewhere, we will unlikely reach friendship, but at least the war will end," Simonyan said.

    She called Vyshinsky’s return the first truly positive moment in Russia-Ukraine relations since 2014.

    "Imagine what I felt when our employee, our guy, was in prison, what any head of an organization feels when his employee is in prison and he can do nothing," Simonyan said, adding that the news agency will try to offer him possibilities for further work.

    Kirill Vyshinsky, the head of RIA Novosti Ukraine, was detained on 15 May 2018 and charged with treason. Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned his arrest as unprecedented, arguing that Vyshinsky was arrested performing his professional duties.

    Russia and Ukraine began work on the simultaneous release of detained and convicted persons at the end of the summer. On Saturday, a number of detainees from both countries have returned home.

    Margarita Simonyan, Kirill Vyshinsky, prisoner swap, Ukraine, Russia
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