Air assistance

Russia and the United States thank Turkey for its help in the exchange of prisoners

Turkish President Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Putin that Türkiye’s role in the swap was significant in terms of mediation efforts.

The Biden administration is “very grateful to Turkey for allowing the exchange in their country.” (Reuters)

Russia and the United States thanked Turkey for its role in their prisoner swap between US Marine Trevor Reed and Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko.

President Vladimir Putin thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Thursday for his help during the prisoner swap at an airport in Türkiye on Wednesday.

Erdogan told Putin that Türkiye’s role in the exchange is not only a sign of prioritizing peace, dialogue and cooperation, but also significant in terms of mediation efforts.

On Wednesday, the United States also appreciated the role of Türkiye.

“As we welcome Trevor Reed, we are grateful to Türkiye for his role in bringing about his safe return,” Jake Sullivan, US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said on Twitter.

“We appreciate the help of our Turkish partners on this important issue.”

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki reiterated Sullivan’s thanks, saying the Biden administration is “very grateful to Turkey for allowing the exchange in their country.”

Similar to a movie scene

“Trevor quickly told us that the American plane had stopped towards the Russian plane and they had gone through the two prisoners at the same time, like you see in the movies,” said Joey Reed, the father of Trevor at CNN.

“They were leaving Turkey and were in the air when he called us and told us that,” he added.

Biden hailed Reed’s release “from Russian custody,” saying “the negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home involved tough decisions that I don’t take lightly.”

Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in 2010 for drug trafficking and extradited to the United States where he was serving a 20-year prison sentence.

Reed was detained in Russia in 2019 after being apprehended for attacking police officers in Moscow. He was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison.

READ MORE: US, Russia conduct prisoner swap despite tensions over Ukraine

Source: TRTWorld and agencies