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 Russia intends exchanging kidnapped Ukrainian border guards for FSB officers, - Slobodian

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The State Border Service of Ukraine says Russians might want to exchange the two Ukrainian border guards it kidnapped in the Sumy region for two FSB officers detained in the Kherson region of Ukraine.

State Border Service press officer Oleh Slobodian told Espresso TV, Censor.NET reports.

He said this intention is witnessed by the refusal of the Russian side to either return the two border guards from the Sumy region or at least discuss the issue.

"Within regular cooperation at peaceful border areas, such matters are solved with just one meeting during a day or two after the incident, if there are no matters of aggravation," Slobodian said.

Read more: FSB says its agents wounded and detained Ukrainian citizen at Russia border

He said similar situations occurred earlier at Ukraine-Belarus border, when Belorussian guards unintendedly violated the border and were "returned" by Ukraine's Border Service.

"There were similar situations with our border guards as well, in different years," Slobodian said.

This issue could be solved in two days as well, but the Russian side took a different approach, the official believes.

"We suspect that Russia will probably attempt exchanging two our military for two Russian border guards we detained several months ago at the administrative border with temporarily occupied Crimea. The reluctance of Russia to talk makes us think so," Slobodian said.

It is not known where the kidnapped Ukrainian border guards are and what conditions they are in.

Read more: Russia indicted two Ukrainian border guards it kidnapped earlier

On Oct. 3, two officers of Znob-Novhorodske unit of the Sumy border guard service were monitoring a section of the state border, when connection with them was lost at around 8 p.m. Later, Russian media reported of detention by FSB border detachment of two 'violators' who called themselves Sumy unit border guards.

On Oct. 9, Russian court arrested the officers for two months for alleged illegal border crossing. Ukrainian consul is not allowed to visit the prisoners. A meeting of border guard representatives of Ukraine and the Russian Federation regarding the detained Ukrainian border guards was supposed to take place in Bryansk, Russia, on Oct. 9, but was sabotaged by the Russian side.
 
 
 
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