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The Council of Churches calls on Russia and Ukraine to exchange all prisoners of war as a step towards de-escalation

The actual implementation of the agreement on the exchange of persons held in connection with the Russian aggression on the terms previously agreed within the Normandy format could become an eloquent expression of the goodwill of the parties to resolve the situation through diplomatic means.

This call of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations was addressed to the President of Ukraine and the President of the Russian Federation. 

”In view of the attempts of the international community to ensure the resumption of negotiations within the Normandy format, calling on all the participants in the process to show determination and to make the necessary efforts to carry out the exchange of persons held in connection with the conflict as a first step in the process of implementing a comprehensive strategy to de-escalate the existing conflict, we appeal to you to immediately take all necessary actions for the release of all detainees for the sake of compassion and for humanitarian reasons" – stated in the UCCRO appeal to the presidents of Ukraine and Russia.

The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations also called for Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Vladimir Putin to "make every possible diplomatic effort to prevent the terrible bloodshed on our land, which will leave an indelible mark for many generations, but strive to achieve a lasting and just peace between our countries.”

On behalf of churches and religious organizations of Ukraine, the appeal was signed by the UCCRO Chairman, the President of Ukrainian Bible Society Hryhorii Komendant.

Earlier, the UCCRO appealed to the Ukrainian society and the international community with a call to pray and unite in order to be ready to give a consolidated rebuff to the aggression of Russia.