2 October 2018, 18:27
Kiev representatives skip humanitarian subgroup meeting again - Kobtseva
LUGANSK, October 2 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Kiev officials have again failed to show up for the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup meeting in Minsk; Ukraine was only represented by experts as at the previous meeting which blocked the prisoner exchange discussion.
“Regrettably, the authorised representatives (of Ukraine in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Irina) Geraschenko and (Ukrainian special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor) Medvedchuk were absent, so the parties were unable to discuss the all confirmed for all confirmed exchange,” Lugansk People’s Republic representative in the humanitarian subgroup, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva told the Lugansk Media Centre after the talks.
The LPR representative reminded that Ukraine, since January, had been ignoring the Republics’ requests to provide information on the persons detained in Ukraine in connection with the Donbass conflict “which is another obstacle to the prisoner exchange issue.”
Though the humanitarian subgroup did discuss the exchange of prisoners who had been convicted before 2014, the issue was not settled, Kobtseva noted. The Republics confirmed their readiness to hand over these people to Ukraine, but the latter did not follow it up.
“Today, we again asked Mr Frisch (Contact Group humanitarian subgroup coordinator for OSCE) for a meeting with (Ukrainian ombudswoman Lyudmila (Denisova) over the issue regarding her powers on this track,” the LPR representative said.
On September 19, Kiev representatives blocked prisoner exchange as they skipped the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup meeting in Minsk.
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 — 02 October — Lugansk