POW Exchange: Putin: There are no Ukrainian hostages in Russia

16:12 Oct. 20, 2016

Putin: There are no Ukrainian hostages in Russia

Oleh Sentsov gestures as the verdict is delivered, as he stands behind bars at a court in Rostov-on-Don, Russia,  Aug. 25, 2015 (AP photo)

Minsk peace deal implies release of only those held in occupied Donbas, says Putin's press secretary

Vladimir Putin says no Ukrainian prisoners of war are held on the territory of Russian Federation, according to the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

Putin strongly opposes the proposal by his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko to include persons kept in Russia into the list of those subject to the POW exchange in Donbas, Peskov added.

"In this context, the Ukrainian president said that there were some detainees in Russia, but this statement drew a strong objection from the Russian president," Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian TASS news agency.

He described Kyiv's approach as unacceptable and out of place.

"Of course, it [exchange of prisoners as a part of Minsk agreement] is only about the release of persons kept in Ukrainian territory and in Donbas," Peskov said.

According to Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) 111 Ukrainian citizens are  being held prisoner in the militant-occupied areas of eastern Ukraine, 9 captives have been smuggled to the Russian Federation.

After more than 5 hours of late-night talks in Berlin on October 19, the leaders of Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia agreed to draft a 'road map' which would help to implement the 2015 Minsk peace agreement for eastern Ukraine.

No official documents were signed.

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