President of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the return of 35 detained Ukrainians: We have taken the first step and we know what to do next

7 September 2019 - 15:24

Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the return of 35 detained Ukrainians: We have taken the first step and we know what to do next

A mutual release of detained persons by Ukraine and the Russian Federation has taken place. On September 7, 35 citizens were returned to Ukraine, and 35 people were transferred to Russia.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met the liberated Ukrainians at the Boryspil International Airport. The Head of State shook hands with each of them.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also took the bracelets with the names of the Ukrainian sailors off his hand and gave them to the sailors. He promised to wear them until the boys are back home.

"The release happened. I congratulate everyone on the return of our heroes,” the Head of State said, addressing those who met the Ukrainians at the airport.

The President spoke about the details of the arrangements made to release Ukrainians. In particular, he recalled that on August 7, he had a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "We have agreed on the first stage of unblocking our dialogue and the first stage of ending the war, the return of our military, sailors, our territories," the President stated.

According to him, the parties agreed to create working groups on the implementation of the agreements reached.

"The working groups have been created and we have agreed that within a month we should speak very substantively, work hard, without lies, and bring our men home," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

He noted that the first stage was completed. “I think the first stage is completed. I have to confirm that I, as President of Ukraine, and President of Russia Vladimir Putin did everything we promised, and did so without altering the course of our agreements,” the Head of State stated.

The President of Ukraine also said that at first it had been only the return of Ukrainian sailors, but at the initiative of the Ukrainian side, others had been also included in the release.

He reported that some forces did not want the detainees to be released.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the release of Ukrainians and their return home was a joyful feeling for everyone. He thanked everyone involved in the process: his team, representatives of the Office of the President, Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova and head of the working group Andrii Yermak.

"It seems to me we have all taken the first step. It has been very difficult. We know what to do next,” he said.

The relatives of the liberated Ukrainians have been waiting for them on the runway.

"As for the boys, now they and their loved ones will go to Feofaniya. We have a working group. All the problematic issues regarding apartments, medicines, any financial issues that are important to them - we will do all that,” the President emphasized.