UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine on Saturday, his spokesman said Sunday.

Stephane Dujarric said in a statement that the UN chief urges all relevant parties to take further measures to ensure continued momentum, including by ensuring a durable ceasefire, easing humanitarian conditions along the contact line, and enabling progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

"He hopes that this important humanitarian act could serve as a positive step towards strengthening confidence among all, enabling regular and constructive dialogue at all levels with a view to paving the way to an eventual settlement of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine," Dujarric added.

Ukraine and Russia conducted an exchange of detainees on Saturday in a step toward easing tensions in east Ukraine's Donbass region and the thawing of bilateral ties.

Since April 2014, an armed conflict between Ukrainian government troops and pro-independence insurgents has been underway in Donbass.

The Minsk agreements, reached in September 2014 and February 2015 respectively, are designed to peacefully end the conflict in Donbass, which envisage a ceasefire, a withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the demarcation line, a prisoner exchange and local elections, among other measures.

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