Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Ukraine is willing to swap a jailed Russian journalist for an imprisoned Ukrainian film director.

Zelenskiy said in televised comments Friday that Ukraine could release journalist Kirill Vyshinsky, who have been in jail for a year on treason charges, if Russia releases film director Oleg Sentsov from Russia-occupied Crimea. Sentsov is serving 20 years in a Russian prison for plotting acts of terrorism.

Zelenskiy's statement follows a week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev.

Russia had been expected to release 24 Ukrainian sailors captured off Crimea last December but a Moscow court Wednesday ruled to keep them behind bars pending trial.

Zelenskiy said Friday that the seamen should be released without preconditions.

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