Kiev representatives fail to show up for talks, block prisoner exchange - Kobtseva
LUGANSK, September 20 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The Ukrainian representatives failed to show up at the meeting of the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup in Minsk on Thursday blocking the solution of the prisoner exchange issue which topped the agenda, Lugansk People’s Republic representative in the humanitarian subgroup, head of the Republic’s working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva told the Lugansk Media Centre.
“The humanitarian subgroup has finished its work. Regrettably, Kiev actually ignored the meeting, as it only sent experts,” Kobtseva said. “The authorised representatives (Ukrainian representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Irina Geraschenko and special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk) were not present at the meeting.”
“These moves by Ukraine are blocking the humanitarian group’s work. The decision on “all for all confirmed persons” exchange has not been taken because of the absence of Kiev’s authorised representatives, she said.
She added that the Donbass Republic had reiterated their readiness for prisoner 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 its 2202 Resolution 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 — 19 September — Lugansk