Ukraine is ready for compromises and will do all it can to have Ukrainian captives freed, Yurшy Tandyt, an adviser to the Ukrainian Security Service chief, said in an interview with Channel 5 television, whose transcript was posted on the TV channel's website on Tuesday evening.
"We are preparing for some processes, I cannot say everything, but believe me, this will be a surprise to many," Tandyt said.
"When the formula for releasing 25 of our hostages was first announced [...] we had in fact agreed on a '25-for-36' formula, then the terms were changed not at our initiative. Representatives of the so-called DPR/LPR and Russian representatives in the presence of OSCE representatives were involved in this. A '25-for-50' formula was concluded. We said we were ready even for these compromises. Darya Morozova [the human rights commissioner in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, or "DPR"] said they were ready for an exchange based on the 'all-for-all' principle," he said.
Tandyt acknowledged that the parties should agree to compromises. "We are ready for compromises, and we'll do everything to free Ukrainian hostages, I am not saying this just for the sake of it; after all, we have a concrete plan, and, as I've said, we are preparing a surprise," he said.
When the 'all-for-all' formula was first mentioned in 2015, Ukraine "handed over 222 people who could have been legally handed over at the time, and 150 people were returned to us then," he said.
Kyiv was provided with a list of 1,102 people last year and carefully analysed it. "We drew up references on each of the 1,102 people, and imagine, we saw surprising things in this figure. For instance, more than 330 out of these 1,102 people are not mentioned on any lists of captives," he said.
As concerns the negotiating process, Tandyt said "President Petro Poroshenko" is the chief negotiator for Kyiv in the process.
"If we talk about Viktor Medvedchuk's [Ukrainian Choice public movement leader] role, I can say that taking into account some of his relations and links to the neighbouring state's leader, we certainly hope this will help us. But here's what I'll tell you: anything would be fair for freeing the hostages as long as we remember that we are citizens of Ukraine and should remain patriots," Tandyt said.
He also stressed that Ukraine has never accepted money for freeing captives.