27 December 2017, 16:35



Seventy three people released by Ukraine return to Donbass - Kobtseva

MAYORSK CHECKPOINT, December 27 (Lugansk Media Centre) – Seventy three people previously captured by Ukraine during the Donbass conflict and released today at the Mayorsk-Zaitsevo checkpoint have returned to Donbass.

"Overall, Ukraine had to hand over 99 people in accordance with the previously agreed formula. Some of them have been pardoned by Ukraine earlier, some of them refused to cross into the LPR," explained LPR representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva.

The understanding is that nine people refused to go back to LPR, two of them voiced their decision today at the Zaitsevo checkpoint.

At around 4.30 p.m. the buses with released LPR residents crossed back into the DPR territory.

Currently the exchange between DPR and Ukraine is going on.

In a telephone conversation with LPR and DPR leaders Igor Plotnitskiy and Alexander Zakharchenko on 15 November, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed 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 swop.

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 — 27 December — Lugansk