24 December 2019, 20:04




Kiev’s actions threaten to derail “Normandy Four” prisoner exchange accord - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, December 24 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Kiev’s actions threaten to derail the prisoner exchange under the “all verified for all verified” formula agreed at the “Normandy Four” summit,” Lugansk People’s Republic representative to the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva told the Lugansk Media Centre.

“We again insist on Ukraine’s fulfilling its obligations and implementing the “all verified for all verified” principle,” Kobtseva said. “Otherwise, this will derail, through Ukraine’s fault,  the implementation of the “Normandy Four” decision on prisoner exchange under the “all for all” principle starting with  “all verified for all verified.”

“For its part, the LPR reiterates its readiness to fulfil its commitment on releasing people under the “all verified for all verified” principle,” she added.

Earlier on Tuesday, she said that Ukraine had unilaterally removed a number of verified persons from the prisoner exchange list.

The Minsk talks participants reached the accord at the video conference on Monday to carry out a prisoner exchange by yearend.

On December 9-10, Paris hosted a summit of the leaders  of the “Normandy Four” states (Germany, Russia, France, Ukraine). The parties agreed on a prisoner exchange in Donbass under the “all verified for all verified” principle by yearend. They also called for ensuring a full and comprehensive ceasefire by the end of 2019 and supported the Contact Group accord on three more areas for the disengagement of forces and hardware in the conflict zone by the end of March 2020.

However, the Contact Group failed to reach the prisoner exchange accord at the talks in Minsk on December 18 due to the position of Kiev representatives.

Earlier Kobtseva said that Ukraine could not guarantee the legal clearance of the detainees which was crucial for the “all verified for all verified” prisoner exchange. She said that the Republic was ready to hand over up to 30 people to Ukraine.

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 — 24 December — Lugansk