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25 August 2020, 17:44

MILITARY&DEFENCE

Minsk-2

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SBU detains Kharkov resident released in prisoner exchange last year - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, August 25 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Agents of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained Kharkov resident Vladimir Aliyev who was released in a prisoner exchange in 2019, Lugansk People’s Republic representative to the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said.

“We have to make public another fact of detention by the SBU of a man who was released in prisoner swap 2019,” Kobtseva said.

She reminded that Ukraine had undertaken the commitment to drop criminal charges against the persons handed over to the Donbass Republics.

“Mr Vladimir Aliyev (passed to the Republic in a prisoner exchange) decided to visit Ukraine where his wife and underage children lived. The SBU put psychological pressure on his family, and he decided to return home under the SBU programme “You Are Waited For at Home,” Kobtseva said.

Such actions are a “gross violation by Ukraine of the obligations signed within the framework of the Minsk negotiations,” because Aliyev, who was set free in a prisoner exchange, had the right to free movement across the territory of Ukraine. “As we see, this accord is faulty because Mr.Aliyev was detained when he was crossing the border,” and is now in custody, the LPR representative said.

A large prisoner exchange between the Donbass Republics and Ukraine, the first in the past two years, took place on December 29, 2019 in the vicinity of the Gorlovka-Mayorskoye crossing point in the Donetsk People’s Republic responsibility zone. The LPR passed 25 detainees to Ukraine, and latter passed 63 people to the Republic. The previous large prisoner exchange between the Donbass Republics and Ukraine took place on December 27, 2017. Back then, the LPR handed over 16 detainees to Ukraine, and Kiev passed 73 people to the LPR. Overall, more than 300 people were involved in the exchange.

Prisoner exchange is a key point of the Minsk Agreements.

Ukrainian government launched the so-called anti-terrorist operation against Donbass in April 2014. Conflict settlement relies on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarussian capital by the Contact Group members and coordinated by the Normandy Four heads of states (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution No 2202 of February 17, 2015 and called upon the parties to ensure its implementation.

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 — 25 August — Lugansk