Chances of Russian-Ukrainian prisoner swap diminish
MOSCOW (AP) — A court in Moscow has extended pre-trial arrest for six of the 24 Ukrainian sailors jailed in Russia, shattering expectations of a major prisoner swap between the two countries.
The court on Wednesday ruled the seamen should remain in custody at least until October. The ruling for the remaining sailors is expected later in the day.
The move follows several days of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. Separately, a court in Kiev is expected to rule on the detention of a Russian journalist who has been in jail for a year.
The flurry of activity around the imprisoned Russians and Ukrainians follows last week’s first telephone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, both of whom expressed their willingness to help bring the prisoners home.