MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. Russia hails the agreement on prisoner exchange reached between the Yemeni government and the Ansar Allah Houthi movement and is ready to offer its assistance if necessary, Russia’s Ambassador to Yemen Vladimir Dedushkin told TASS on Thursday.

“Russia hails the agreement reached by the parties to the Yemeni conflict and is ready to offer its assistance, if necessary,” said the Russian diplomat who is taking part in the consultations underway in Sweden.

He said that the agreement of prisoner exchange can be seen as one of the first steps taken to implement the trust-building package. “It is the first success but it is yet to be implemented. Thus, it is necessary to take a number of organizational and logistics measures to make prisoner exchange possible,” he noted. “It won’t be an easy job. As of now, the sides have only exchanged the lists of prisoners. But it is yet to decide on technical aspects of the process.”

“I think United Nations representatives will be able to work out a scheme of the exchange and will do their best to have the conflicting parties carry out this exchange,” Dedushkin added.

Consultations between the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives are underway in Sweden from December 5 through 13. The parties to the conflict are meeting for the first time in the past 30 months. Pervious consultations were to be held in Geneva in early September but Houthi representatives never came to Geneva.

On Thursday, the parties signed an agreement on prisoner exchange.

Armed confrontation between government forces and Ansar Allah groups has been going on in Yemen since August 2014, reaching the most active phase in March 2015 after the Saudi-led coalition invaded the country. According to Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development, more than 10,000 civilians, including almost 2,400 children and about 2,000 women, have been killed in the country since the spring of 2015.

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