Ukraine's Zelenskiy: Prisoner swap first step in ending 'horrible war'

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivers a speech during a parliamentary session in Kiev, Ukraine August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said an exchange of prisoners with Russia on Saturday was the first step in a process to end the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region.

He said the swap had been agreed with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and that he hoped for a meeting in the so-called “Normandy Format” with Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany soon to help defuse the war with pro-Russian separatists.

He said all steps had to be taken “to finish this horrible war,” referring to the conflict with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams; Editing by Mark Heinrich