09:41 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Participants of a simultaneous release of detainees agreed between Russia and Ukraine leave the plain upon arrival from Kiev to Moscow at the Vnukovo airport, outside Moscow, Russia

    Kremlin Sees Detainee Exchange With Ukraine As Positive Step - Spokesman

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Kremlin sees the exchange of detainees between Russia and Ukraine as a positive step and a reason for cautious optimism on improvement in the relationship, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

    "It was an exchange of detained persons. We see the exchange as a positive step and welcome it. Of course, it gives reason for cautious optimism regarding the further work on ways for normalization of relations between Russia and Ukraine, for one thing. And of course, most importantly, for conditions to implement Minsk agreements," Peskov told reporters.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the upcoming release of detainees and convicted persons by Moscow and Kiev during the Eastern Economic Forum last week.

    The two countries have agreed to release 35 detained and convicted persons each.

    On Friday, Ukrainian lawyer Valentin Rybin said on Facebook that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had pardoned people, whose simultaneous release was discussed by Kiev and Moscow.

    Among the released people was RIA Novosti Ukraine editor-in-chief Kirill Vyshinsky, who was detained in Kiev on 15 May 2018, on suspicion of supporting the self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region.

    In late August, the Kyiv Appeal Court decided to release Vyshinsky from custody on his own recognisance.

    Tags:
    release, Dmitry Peskov, Ukraine, Russia
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