KIEV, September 5 (RIA Novosti) — Kiev is ready to start the prisoner exchange as soon as possible, a spokesman for the country’s National Security and Defense Council, Andriy Lysenko, said Friday.
"We are ready to start the exchange of prisoners right now," he told RIA Novosti.
He said that "several hundred" of Ukrainian servicemen are estimated to be held in captivity, another 200 servicemen have been listed as missing.
Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, said the prisoner swap will affect "about a thousand of people on each side."
Earlier on Friday, members of the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation had a meeting in Minsk, during which they agreed on a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners and humanitarian aid.
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.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told reporters on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales that the prisoner exchange, agreed in Minsk, may begin on September 6.