UN Chief Welcomes Exchange Of Inmates Between Ukraine And Russia—-UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has welcomed the exchange of 230 Ukrainian and 248 Russian prisoners of war between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
This is the largest such exchange since the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Guterres, in a statement by his Associate Spokesperson, Ms Florencia Nino, on Thursday commended the efforts of both parties and the third-party facilitation by the United Arab Emirates that contributed to this positive development.
The secretary-general hopes that this important step will be followed by additional exchanges of prisoners of war, and by other de-escalation efforts.
The prisoner release was announced on Wednesday and was the first to take place for months.
The Russian ministry of defence said in a statement that 248 of its soldiers had been released while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted that a total of 230 Ukrainians had returned home, of whom six were civilians.
“We remember each and every one of our people, and we must return all of them,” he wrote on X.
There have been dozens of prisoner exchanges with more than 2,800 Ukrainian prisoners returned and at least 1,000 Russians, according to news reports.
The last reported exchange took place in August 2023, when 22 Ukrainian soldiers were released.
In response to the latest release, the statement from the UN chief said he hoped that this “important step” would be followed by additional exchanges, “and by other de-escalation efforts.”