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24 April 2019, 17:39

Minsk-2

Kiev reps skip humanitarian group talks, no progress achieved - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, April 24 (Lugansk Media Centre) – The absence of Kiev's representatives in the humanitarian working group of the Contact Group prevents the negotiators from the settlement of issues related to the POWs exchange, said LPR representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva.

"The meeting of the subgroup discussed the issues to be settled to achieve agreement on the exchange of all confirmed detainees.

"Though what can we expect of the talks if the Ukrainian side is represented at expert level? Authorized representatives, Viktor Medvedchuk and Irina Geraschenko, were absent. Ukrainian should ask questions to the authorities, especially those Ukrainians whose relatives are kept in the LPR."

Kobtseva said that the participants of the meeting "have not even discussed" issues of the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge reconstruction and opening of the Zolotoye and Schastye checkpoints.

"This is a very disruptive stance on the Ukrainian side. We are ready for a dialog and compromises, and remain committed to the Minsk Agreements."

Earlier Kobtseva announced that the LPR expects 100 detainees to be returned from Ukraine.

The exchange of captives between Donbass Republics and Ukraine is one of the key issues of Minsk Agreements.

The living conditions in LPR penitentiaries and remand prisons where Ukrainian captives are held along with other inmates, are "absolutely adequate", said coordinator of the working group on Humanitarian Issues Ambassador Toni Frisch who visited Lugansk on October, 27th.

Earlier, Colonel of Internal Service Andrei Sokolskiy who heads the Lugansk Enforcement Department said the conditions at the Lugansk prison, previously known as Pre-Trial Detention Center No. 17, had markedly improved compared with the time when the facility was run by Ukrainian authorities.

LPR children’s ombudswoman Yulia Nazarenko said that the Lugansk prison conditions for underage inmates complied with international norms. In mid-September, five inmates declined to serve their sentences in Ukrainian prisons, despite the offer by the International Committee of the Red Cross to assist them in the transfer.

LuganskMediaCentre — 24 April — Lugansk