18 September 2019, 17:52


Kiev deliberately delaying prisoner exchange - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, September 18 (Lugansk Media Centre) – Ukraine is deliberately delaying prisoner exchange, the Lugansk People’s Republic representative to the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said.

“At the Widnesday meeting of the humanitarian subgroup, the parties were “unable to make headway in the exchange of unlawfully held persons,” Kobtseva said. “The Republic’s representatives saw again that Kiev was not willing to work productively on this track. Ukraine once again failed to fulfil its obligations concerning the legal clearance of the persons due to be exchanged and we, the Republic’s representatives, view this as deliberate stalling and delaying of the exchange.”

“For their part, the LPR representatives confirmed their readiness for the all verified for all verified exchange, and now Ukraine bears full responsibility for delaying the process,” Kobtseva said.

Earlier, she said that Ukraine had not worked out a legal clearance mechanism for the persons due to the exchanged with the Donbass Republics.

Kobtseva said that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) played a key role is foot-dragging over detainee clearance.

The LPR and the DPR had suggested in Minsk exchanging the detainees under the the all verified for all verified formula. The Donbass Republics insisted on the exchange procedure that gave the parties some time to complete the “legal clearance.” The LPR and the DPR said they were ready to finish it within a month, while Ukraine requested about six weeks.

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 — 18 September — Lugansk