UN welcomes major Russia-Ukraine prisoner exchange

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed one of the largest prisoner exchanges between Russia and Ukraine, an associate spokesperson said on Thursday.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the exchange of 230 Ukrainian and 248 Russian prisoners of war between Ukraine and the Russian Federation – the largest such exchange since the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine,” Florencia Soto Nino​ said in a statement.

Guterres commends the efforts of both parties and the third-party facilitation by the United Arab Emirates that contributed to this positive development, Nino said.

“The Secretary General hopes that this important step will be followed by additional exchanges of prisoners of war and by other de-escalation efforts,” she added.

The two sides have periodically exchanged prisoners throughout the conflict, which began in February 2022. The latest exchange this week was the first in almost five months.

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