LPR People's Militia welcomes December 27 prisoner swop
LUGANSK, December 29 (Lugansk Media Centre) – The LPR People's Militia welcomed the prisoner swop carried out on December 27 as Kiev's positive step towards a peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict, said LPR People’s Militia command acting chief Colonel Mikhail Filiponenko.
"This week the major prisoner exchange in the conflict history took place. The Ukrainian side handed over 233 people they kept imprisoned."
"We welcome these steps of Ukrainian authorities. The LPR is still committed to the peace dialog to settle the conflict."
Donbass Republics and Ukraine have carried out one of the largest prisoner swops in the conflict history on December 27, returning over 300 people in total to their families and homes. The exchange took place at the Mayorsk checkpoint in DPR area of responsibility.
After the exchange had been finalized, the former captives arrived to the Lugansk Republican hospital for medical examination.
The hard-brokered swop has transpired after the Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with LPR and DPR leaders Igor Plotnitskiy and Alexander Zakharchenko on 15 November to discuss a Ukrainian special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk’s initiative to carry out the '306 for 74' prisoner swap. The Republics confirmed they are ready to carry out the exchange. The final numbers of liberated people differed from the announced by Medvedchuk as by the time of the swop some people had already served their terms and had been released, while some refused to return to Donbass or Ukraine. Both sides announced their willingness to exchange the remaining PoWs.
The exchange of captives between Donbass Republics and Ukraine is one of the key issues of the Minsk Agreements.
The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on 12 February 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.
LuganskMediaCentre — 29 December — Lugansk
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