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Illustrative image: A group of Russian POWs lined up towards th stairs in a detention facility in western Ukraine on April 18, 2023. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Ukraine is open to considering an all-for-all prisoner of war (POW) exchange, and will discuss the idea at the upcoming Peace Summit in Switzerland in June, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 3.

"It's desired that we swap all-for-all. All reasonable countries support this route," Zelensky told recruits while speaking at the National Academy of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. "We are conducting exchanges, but they are slower than we would like."

The last reported prisoner exchange occurred on Feb. 8 with 100 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) returned from Russian captivity. Before that on Jan. 3, 230 prisoners were exchanged in the largest prisoner exchange since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Previously, Moscow had gone months without a POW exchange, refusing to continue the practices in an alleged effort to turn Ukrainian families of POWs against their own authorities.

Zelensky said that despite some skeptics believing that an all-for-all was only possible after the end of the war, he hoped that there was "an opportunity to try to make this happen earlier," pointing towards the upcoming peace summit which is being held on June 15-16.

Zelensky noted that Ukraine has three priorities for the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland: energy and nuclear security, free navigation of the Black and Azon seas, and the humanitarian issues of an all-for-all POW exchanges, as well as returning Ukrainian children who have been forcefully deported to Russia.

Russia, the aggressor in the ongoing war, will not be invited to the Peace Summit "at this stage," the Swiss government announced on May 3.

Presidential Office: Joint negotiating position to be submitted to Russia after Switzerland peace summit
Participants of the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland will formulate a common negotiating position and submit it to Russia, presidential spokesperson Sergii Nykyforov said on May 3, according to Deutsche Welle.


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