Ukraine will continue to implement a strategy to return people illegally detained in the temporarily occupied territories and in Russia until it releases all its citizens, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The third stage of the mutual release of detained persons within the “all for all” format has now been completed. Ukraine has returned 20 of its citizens held captive in the temporarily occupied territories.
“The first stage was when 35 people were returned: political prisoners and our sailors. That was the first part. The second exchange was after the Normandy four arrangements - 76 people were released. We are returning 20 people now,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President noted that the Ukrainian party insisted to carry out the release as soon as possible without waiting for the completion of the quarantine measures due to the spread of coronavirus.
"We can wait for the quarantine to end and then make a bigger exchange, but our party insisted that we don't have to wait for anything. 20 people have been confirmed to us - let's return 20 people. If tomorrow there are two more people, we will return two people. The next day there are 100 people, we will return 100,” the Head of State said.
Upon their return, the released Ukrainians will be sent for mandatory observation.
Negotiations on the release of those detained in the occupied Crimea and in Russia are ongoing.
"Ukraine must liberate all its citizens," the President summarized.