14:27 10.03.2020

Crimean Tatars may refuse from participation in Ukraine-Russia prisoner exchange – Dzhemilev

2 min read
Crimean Tatars may refuse from participation in Ukraine-Russia prisoner exchange – Dzhemilev

The Crimean Tatars, who are being kept in Russian prisons, may refuse from the participation in the prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia if they find out that they would be exchanged for "bandits," the leader of the Crimean Tatar people and a member of the European Solidarity faction in the Ukrainian parliament, Mustafa Dzhemilev, said on air of the Hromadske Radio.

"The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has passed us the list [of prisoners to be exchanged] for approval. They are planning to exchange people soon at whatever cost. However, we have determined our priorities: those who have the longest terms in prison, for example 17-18 years, and those who have poor health," Dzhemilev said.

Despite the fact that the lists have been formed, the Russian side is currently not holding any talks regarding possible exchange, he said.

"I should say that Russia categorically opposes the release of Crimean Tatars. Secondly, we have rather idea-driven people there. If they find out that they would be exchanged for bandits, they may even refuse," Dzhemilev said.

As reported, in February 2020, the then Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Vadym Prystaiko, said that preparations were underway for the next exchange of detainees.

"We are now preparing the next exchange. We still believe in the possibility of completing the "all for all" exchange in the near future. And this will be a very large and massive exchange, in which, we hope, there will be a place for Crimean Tatars in the overwhelming majority, whom we managed to swap in small amounts latterly," the minister said.

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