Putin, Macron hail Russia-Ukraine prisoner exchange

Published September 9, 2019, 7:26 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Agence France-Presse

Russian President Vladimir Putin and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron hailed this weekend’s exchange of prisoners between Moscow and Kiev in a telephone call on Sunday, their offices said.

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Fort of Bregancon in Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France, Monday Aug. 19, 2019. (Gerard Julien, Pool via AP / MANILA BULLETIN)
French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin  (Gerard Julien, Pool via AP / MANILA BULLETIN/ FILE)

The call came ahead of a visit by the French foreign and defence ministers to Moscow on Monday.

Macron met with Putin in France last month and has called for a renewed push to resolve the five-year conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The two leaders shared “their positive appreciation for the release and transfer” of 35 prisoners from each side on Saturday, the Kremlin said.

“The two presidents confirmed that the current momentum will allow for the holding, in the next few weeks, of a summit under the Normandy format in Paris,” the French presidency said.

Macron announced the summit — which would involve the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine — after his meeting with Putin but no date has been set.

France and Germany helped to negotiate a peace accord in 2014 to end fighting in eastern Ukraine, where a conflict with Moscow-backed separatists has killed more than 13,000 in the last five years.