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21 August 2018, 16:25

Minsk-2

Kiev’s position in humanitarian subgroup doesn’t help Minsk implementation - Kobtseva

LUGANSK, August 21 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Kiev representatives’ position in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup is not conductive to dialogue or implementation of the Minsk Agreements, in particular the solution of prisoner exchange issue, Lugansk People’s Republic representative in the subgroup, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva told the Lugansk Media Centre.

“For the past few sessions, Ukraine, in the person of (Kiev’s representative in the humanitarian subgroup Irina) Geraschenko has been taking a destructive stance to prevent the reaching of a consensus on the key points of the agenda,” Kobtseva said.

“Geraschenko’s position, voiced in a recent statement and inspired by anti-Russian rhetoric, was unchanged at today’s meeting of the humanitarian subgroup,” she noted.

“Given Kiev's approach, it is quite problematic to agree on prisoner exchange, one of the key agenda items, so Mrs Geraschenko’s current position by no means contributes to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements,” Kobtseva said.

The issue concerning a number of Ukrainian nationals at Russian penitentiaries has nothing to do with the Minsk talks; Ukraine is raising it with the sole purpose not to honour the commitments it undertook within the framework of the Minsk Agreements.

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 — 21 August — Lugansk