Russia and Ukraine have come to a joint agreement to swap 200 prisoners in one of the largest exchanges of the seven-month war. The following announcement has been made by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan has shared the statement following talks last week with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin during the regional summit in Uzbekistan.
Erdogan did not provide complete information about the swap, calling the individual being exchanged “hostages” & not adding how many there were from each side.
Meanwhile, Erdogan said that, “Two hundred(200) hostages will be exchanged upon agreement among the parties. I think a major step will be taken forward.”
The member of Turkey, NATO has attempted to stay neutral during the conflict, supplying combat drones to Kyiv & shying away from Western-led sanctions against Russia.
Erdogan said that he had the “impression” that Putin was willing to finish the war.
“We had very thorough discussions & he is actually showing me that he is willing to putting an end at this as soon as possible,” Erdogan added.
“That was my impression as the way things are moving right now are quite problematic.”
At the same time, Erdogan said Russia’s return of captured lands would be a significant part of any lasting truce.
Furthermore, he said that, “If peace is going to be established in Ukraine, of course returning the land that was invaded will become significant.”
While being repeatedly asked if Putin should be held accused for invading Ukraine, Erdogan asserted there was no benefit in taking sides. “We are not going to guard a single leader. Instead, we have to look for an answer that will satisfy all the parties involved.”
Erdogan has, again and again, tried to bring Putin and Zelenskyy together in Turkey for truce talks.