19 December 2019, 15:33



LPR ready to hand over up to 30 people in prisoner swap with Kiev - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, December 19 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The Lugansk People’s Republic is ready to hand over up to 30 people in prisoner exchange with Kiev, LPR representative to the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the Republic’s working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said at a press briefing at the Lugansk Media Centre.

At the latest meeting in Minsk, the Ukrainian representatives came up with the proposal to cut the number of persons due to be put on prisoner exchange lists, Kobtseva said.

“I believe that the most outrageous thing is that they agreed to cut the number of confirmed people on our lists,” she said. “That is, the LPR had confirmed up to 30 persons, and the (Kiev) official representatives were ready to cut this list.”

On Wednesday, the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup was unable to agree on the release and exchange of prisoners and failed to discuss the launching of new crossing points on the contact line because of Kiev representative’s position. “Ukraine actually failed the reaching of the accords on the two decisions made at the “Normandy Four” meeting, Kobtseva said.

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.

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.

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.

LuganskMediaCentre — 19 December — Lugansk