Now it is impossible to unblock Azovstal (Mariupol) by military means, Ukraine has offered the Russian Federation to take Ukrainian seriously wounded along the humanitarian corridor in exchange for captured Russians, negotiations are still ongoing, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereschuk said.
"Azovstal. As of now, it is impossible to release Azovstal by military means. The defenders of Azovstal do not want to surrender. This is worthy of respect. The Russians do not agree to 'extraction'. This is a reality, but this is not surprising from the Russians. What to do? The government is considering different options. None of them are perfect. But we are not looking for an ideal option, but a working one," Vereschuk wrote on her Telegram channel.
According to her, as a first step, Ukraine offered the Russians an exchange.
"We are taking out our seriously wounded guys from Azovstal along the humanitarian corridor. At the same time, we are returning the captured Russians according to the standard rules for the exchange of prisoners of war," the minister said.
She said that there is no agreement yet, negotiations are ongoing.