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18 December 2018, 13:14

Minsk-2

LPR confirms readiness for prisoner exchange - Kobtseva

LUGANSK, December 18 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The Lugansk People’s Republic confirms its readiness to exchange prisoners with Ukraine, LPR representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the Republic’s working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva told the Lugansk Media Centre.

“In the runup to the new round of talks in Minsk, we confirm our readiness for the “all verified for all verified” prisoner exchange,” Kobtseva said.

She said that the Republic had been ready for prisoner swap since "winter of this year" and that it had presented all the prisoner lists.

“However, Kiev has been deliberately delaying or postponing the exchange date under far-fetched pretexts trying to divide the persons to be exchanged into certain groups,” she said. “It’s absolutely unacceptable to us as it contradicts the letter of the Minsk Agreements.”

Earlier, Kobsteva said that Ukrainian representatives at the meetings of the Contact Group and its subgroups had renewed the attempts to drag Russia into the Donbass prisoner exchange.

Also, Ukraine is blackmailing the Donbass Republics suggesting partial prisoner swap and designating certain groups of the detainees as ineligible for exchange, she said.

Kobsteva stated that the Kiev representatives had blocked prisoner exchange as they stopped attending the humanitarian subgroup sessions.

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 — 18 December — Lugansk