23 January 2018, 22:40



New POW swop can transpire this winter - Kobtseva

LUGANSK, January 23 (Lugansk Media Centre) – Another POW exchange might take place this winter, said LPR representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva.

"Another prisoner exchange might transpire before the end of the winter this year," she said.

"The Republics have passed exchange lists to Ukraine. We plan to through then name-by-name at the next meeting in Minsk. If Kiev's attitude is positive … I think we can begin discussing details of the upcoming exchange."

At January 18 meeting in Minsk the sides have exchange detainees lists, the Republics are waiting for Kiev's reaction on the matter.

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 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 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 — 23 January — Lugansk