DPR urges Kiev to carry out large prisoner exchange by New Year

November 27, 2019 18:34

Donetsk, Nov 27 – DAN. The Donetsk delegation at a meeting of the humanitarian subgroup in Minsk on Wednesday called upon Ukraine to carry out a prisoner exchange in the nearest future, Donetsk People’s Republic ombudswoman, representative to the humanitarian subgroup talks Darya Morozova said.

“I urge Ukraine to do everything in order to carry out a large prisoner exchange in the nearest future,” Morozova said. “We have to give people the opportunity to celebrate the New Year holidays with their families.”

During the consultations in Minsk on Wednesday, the parties reached an accord on information exchange in the runup to the next meeting which has to confirm the whereabouts of persons and possibly put them on the prisoner exchange lists. In other issues, such as dropping criminal prosecution of the detainees and their verification, Kiev’s position was unproductive, the DPR ombudswoman said.

The Donetsk People’s Republic and Ukraine last exchanged prisoners on December 27, 2017. Ukraine handed over 160 people to Donetsk, and DPR passed 57 people to Kiev.  The talks on subsequent detainee swaps were put on hold. DPR representatives in Minsk repeatedly said that the Ukrainian negotiators had avoided substantive discussion of the agenda and skipped the talks several times.

Article 6 of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements dated February 12, 2015 says that releasing detainees and their exchange are based on the all-for-all principle. Due to the ongoing Donbass conflict and detention of DPR supporters by Kiev, the Republic suggested altering the exchange principle to “all verified for all verified.” Though Ukraine supported this proposal, it continues to block the discussion of the process delaying the implementation of the accord.*jk