7 July 2020, 18:26



Donbass Republics, Kiev to exchange information about missing persons

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LUGANSK, July 7 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The Donbass Republics and Kiev agreed at the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup videoconference to exchange information on missing persons, Lugansk People’s Republic representative to the humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva told the Lugansk Media Centre.

“In the detainee release issue, Ukraine nearly stooped to blackmail which was firmly prevented,” Kobtseva said. “Humanitarian group coordinator (for OSCE) Mr (Toni) Frisch informed the parties (representatives of the Republics and Ukraine) about the deadline for providing information on missing persons.”

She expressed the hope that Ukraine would fulfil these obligations.

As for dropping criminal charges, Ukraine flatly refuses to meets its commitments signed by Ukrainian representative to the Contact Group (Leonid) Kuchma; the humanitarian group coordinator, at the Republic representative’s insistence, will inform the Contact Group about Ukraine’s position, Kobtseva said.

She said that the Republics would hand over the lists of missing persons and that Ukraine had promised to match them against all information at hand.

Earlier, Kobtseva said that the Republic was currently looking for some 60 people who were held in Ukraine.

A large prisoner exchange between the Donbass Republics and Ukraine, the first in the past two years, took place on December 29, 2019 in the vicinity of the Gorlovka-Mayorskoye crossing point in the Donetsk People’s Republic responsibility zone. The LPR passed 25 detainees to Ukraine, and latter passed 63 people to the Republic. The previous large prisoner exchange between the Donbass Republics and Ukraine took place on December 27, 2017. Back then, the LPR handed over 16 detainees to Ukraine, and Kiev passed 73 people to the LPR. Overall, more than 300 people were involved in the exchange.

Prisoner exchange is a key point of the Minsk Agreements.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution 2202 and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.

The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

To facilitate the work of the Contact Group, four working groups were set up under its aegis to deal with issues of security, politics, return of internally displaced people and refuges, as well as with social, humanitarian, economic and rehabilitation issues.

LuganskMediaCentre — 07 July — Lugansk