UAE Mediation: A New “Prisoner” Exchange Deal Between Russia and Ukraine

In a new diplomatic and humanitarian milestone, the United Arab Emirates has successfully completed a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, a deal that crowns the UAE’s continuous efforts for peace.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today, Friday, the success of the state’s mediation efforts in completing a new prisoner of war exchange between Russia and Ukraine, resulting in the release of 150 prisoners from both sides.

The ministry stated that this mediation, the fourth since the beginning of the year achieved by the UAE, came as a result of the state leveraging its excellent relationships with both sides to reach this agreement.

The ministry emphasized the UAE’s ongoing efforts to support all initiatives aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine, stressing the importance of resorting to diplomacy, dialogue, de-escalation, and alleviating the humanitarian consequences of the crisis.

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced the recovery of 75 soldiers from Ukrainian captivity due to negotiations mediated by the UAE.

In a statement reported by “Russia Today,” the defense ministry said: “On May 31, as a result of a negotiation, 75 Russian soldiers in mortal danger in captivity were recovered from territories controlled by the Kyiv regime.”

It added that in exchange, 75 Ukrainian prisoners of war were handed over to Ukraine.

The statement indicated that the released Russian soldiers would be transported by military aircraft to Moscow for treatment and rehabilitation in defense medical institutions.

It pointed out that the necessary medical and psychological assistance is being provided to all the released.

The Russian defense ministry explained that “the United Arab Emirates provided humanitarian mediation” in the process of releasing Russian soldiers from captivity.

Previous Mediations

In February, the UAE succeeded in mediating a second prisoner exchange within a month between Russia and Ukraine.

The February deal resulted in 195 soldiers returning to Russia, in exchange for Kyiv recovering an equivalent number of its prisoners held by Moscow.

The success of this mediation came less than a month after another UAE diplomatic breakthrough on January 31, which resulted in 195 soldiers returning to Russia, in exchange for Ukraine recovering an equivalent number of prisoners from Moscow.

On January 3, UAE mediation resulted in the release of 248 Russian soldiers, in exchange for Ukraine recovering more than 200 prisoners, in a transaction that represented one of the largest prisoner exchanges between the two sides since the crisis began in February 2022.

Four deals since the beginning of 2024, coming after about a year of UAE mediation success in February 2023, with the return of 63 “sensitive category” prisoners of war to Russia, in exchange for Ukraine recovering 116 prisoners in February 2023.

Approach of Stability and Peace

These transactions reflect the humanitarian and diplomatic role played by the UAE worldwide in resolving crises, supporting stability, and promoting peace.

These repeated successes also reinforce the UAE’s position under the leadership of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, as an important partner in the success of peace initiatives at regional and international levels.

The successful UAE mediation also reflects the world’s trust and appreciation for the UAE’s leadership and its mediation efforts based on upholding the values of love, tolerance, and peace.

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