Kiev does not rule out the possibility that two Ukrainian border guards, detained in Russia’s Bryansk region, will be exchanged for Russian border guards detained in summer on the Ukrainian-Russian border, Ukrainian State Border Service Spokesman Oleg Slobodyan said on Friday.
"We are trying to step up dialogue with Russia in order to get full information about what happened on the border between the Sumy region (Ukraine) and Bryansk region (Russia) on October 3," he told the 112.Ukraina TV channel. Slobodyan also said that "one of the letters recently received from Russia signals that they [the Russians] are ready for dialogue and hint to retaliatory actions." According to the Ukrainian Border Service spokesman, Russia "will try to initiate an exchange of the [Ukrainian] servicemen for two Russian border guards," who had been detained on the Crimean border "several months ago." However, Slobodyan did not announce the names of the Russian border guards.
Two trespassers, who later identified themselves as servicemen of the Sumy border guard unit of Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service, were detained in Russia’s Bryansk region on October 3. On October 12, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said that charges had been brought against them.
According to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), Russian border guards Askar Kulub and Vladimir Kuznetsov are currently under arrest in Ukraine. The Russian special services said earlier that on the night of June 30, during military drills taking place near the town of Armyansk (Crimea), two servicemen lost their way and were detained by the Ukrainian border guards.