USOSCE Amb. Gilmore calls Prisoner Exchange “A Great Step Forward”

September 2019 Prisoner Exchange. Photo: AP

USOSCE Ambassador Gilmore praises the Prisoner Exchange between Ukraine and Russia, calling it a “A Great Step Forward”

PRESS RELEASE | September 7, 2019

The U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) today praised the prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia that released 35 prisoners from the ongoing conflict between the two countries in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The exchange included 24 sailors who were detained by Russia in the Kerch Strait of the Black Sea. The release also included Oleh Sentsov, a Crimean filmmaker who was convicted and sentenced to a term in a Russian Arctic prison camp.

“This release is a great step forward toward an ultimate negotiated settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” said Ambassador Gilmore. “This reduction of tension mirrors the recent recommitment to the ceasefire along the line of contact in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine.” The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has over 1300 monitors and staff that report on the situation in Ukraine and promote an end to the conflict through the facilitation of dialogue.

“This exchange of prisoners is a real achievement by newly elected President Zelenskyy of Ukraine, who campaigned for ending the conflict,” said Gilmore. “The U.S. Mission to the OSCE has been decisive in calling for the release of these prisoners by Russia. We urge Russia to cease its aggression in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and release all those still unjustly detained.”


For further information please contact:

U.S. Mission to the OSCE
Elaine A. Paplos, Counselor for Public Affairs
Email: PaplosEA[at]