OREANDA-NEWSKiev is ready to begin the exchange of prisoners with the head of RIA Novosti Ukraine, Cyril Vyshinsky, and director Oleg Sentsov. This would be the first step, said President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky during a press conference, reports Ukrainian media. “We aren't talking about the exchange about our seamen - we must return the seamen. If about goodwill and we really want this time to come faster, we are ready to change Vyshinsky. Sentsov is an example. We are ready to exchange for Sentsov, but I mean, this is not a bargaining chip”, said the Ukrainian leader.

He added that if these are the first steps, then Ukraine is ready for them. In general, Kiev would like to receive all of its military personnel held captive in the Donbass and prisoners in Russian correctional facilities. The Kremlin also previously recognized that the liberation of Vyshinsky could be the first step towards the normalization of relations between Moscow and Kiev. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated that any steps to free people would only be welcomed by the Russian side.

A few days earlier, on July 16, the Ukrainian authorities announced an exchange of prisoners with Russia within a month. During the first talks between Putin and Zelensky, which were held in the format of a telephone conversation last week, the leaders raised the issue of the exchange of prisoners. According to Zelensky, Putin proposed to change everyone for everyone. Kiev agrees to this, but drew attention to the fact that Kiev’s lists of prisoners of war and those with whom they are being held don't match.

Oleg Sentsov is serving a sentence in Russia on charges of preparing terrorist acts in the Crimea. The court in 2015 appointed him 20 years in a maximum security colony. Kirill Vyshinsky is under arrest in Kiev since May of last year on charges of treason and in support of self-proclaimed DPR and LPR.