The exchange of prisoners has taken place. For dozens of people, a real nightmare of prisons and camps has come to an end. Their families will keep celebrating this day for a long time as an important event in their life, as one of the most joyful days. After all, real human destinies, real people, their feelings and sufferings are behind the exchange process.

With this exchange of prisoners, a process of normalization of relations between Ukraine and Russia begins. The Orthodox Church has played an important role in these processes and in the restoration of peace. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy have taken great efforts to make today's exchange happen, and the capacity of the Church is not confined only to this.

I congratulate all those who have gained their long-awaited freedom today! This is a very important, very tangible step towards a real peace, which, I am sure, will soon come to the Ukrainian land, and relations between Ukraine and Russia will again become good neighbourly and fraternal relations, as they used to be throughout our history.