The Kremlin states that it has influence on Russian militants in the Donbass, so they agreed to exchange prisoners. This was reported to journalists in Moscow by the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, - UNIAN reports.
"We have no way of putting pressure on these unrecognized republics in any way, we cannot give instructions to someone there, because these are the republics that live their own life, but the president has never concealed that he has the opportunity to launch appeals and exert certain influence, limited, but certain. The head of state use this influence, reacting to Medvedchuk's appeal and approval, expressed by Patriarch Kirill", - Peskov said, answering the question whether Putin's call to the militants is a violation of the position of the Russian Federation, which declares that it is not a party to the conflict.
According to him, during a conversation with the militants' leaders, Putin voiced the idea of a large-scale exchange and "saw understanding of his interlocutors". At the same time, he did not answer the question why the Kremlin press service had not used the word "unrecognized republics" with regard to the occupied Donbass in the official release following the results of this conversation.
"Putin did not hear the refusal (from the militants). This initiative was perceived with understanding and the hope was expressed that it would be possible to agree on the details with representatives of the Ukrainian party", - Peskov said.
As previously reported, Putin responded positively to the proposal of Ukraine's representative Viktor Medvedchuk to exchange prisoners according to the formula of 306 militants for 74 Ukrainian hostages.
After a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, leader of the "DNR" Alexander Zakharchenko said that he agreed to the option offered by Ukraine for the exchange of prisoners and that he always had similar views.