The Syrian insurgent armed group Liwa al-Tawhid holding Konstantin Zhuravlyov, a Tomsk-based traveler, photographer and blogger, and activists of the Russian non-governmental organization Alternativa have reached an agreement on the terms of Zhuravlyov's release, Alternativa head Oleg Melnikov told Interfax on Saturday.
"We have held negotiations with the insurgents and agreed that Zhuravlyov could be swapped for three wives of insurgents being held at state prisons. We have agreed that these should be women who did not take part in combat actions," Melnikov said.
The captors promised not to kill Zhuravlyov, he said.
"Konstantin should be transported to a place not exposed to bombardments in the near future, so that nothing should endanger his life," Melnikov said.
He said he expected to meet with Syrian government officials to discuss details of Zhuravlyov's swap.
"While we have already agreed with the insurgents, we have not yet conducted substantive negotiations with Syrian authorities. There are certain nuances concerning the exchange," he added.
Members of Liwa al-Tawhid seized Zhuravlyov in northern Syria in early October 2013. His captors first declared online that he was a Russian spy and warned that a decision on his fate would be made "based on findings of a Sharia investigation."
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was working to secure Zhuravlyov's speedy release.
Mufti Nurulla Kalykakhunov of the Tomsk regional spiritual board of the Siberian Muftiate earlier called on the Syrian insurgents to free the Russian traveler.
It was reported on November 20, 2013 that Alternativa activists had left for Syria to free Zhuravlyov from captivity.
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