Donetsk, Apr 27 - DAN. Ukraine turned the talks in the Minsk subgroup on humanitarian issues into a comedy as the Ukrainian representative read an anecdote to the participants instead of discussing the lifting of criminal prosecution against citizens, Donetsk People’s Republic representative in the humanitarian subgroup, the Republic’s ombudswoman Darya Morozova said on Tuesday.

“Total bewilderment is the only firm impression left by the latest session of the humanitarian group,” Morozova said. “Over the years of negotiations, I have never seen Ukraine behave in the manner as was shown at today’s meeting.”

Ukrainian representatives, in violation of the negotiations protocol, refused to discuss the issue of dropping criminal charges against participants in the POW exchanges of 2019-2020, “reading an anecdote instead,” she said.

“Despite the importance of the issue, Ukraine turned the diplomatic venue into a comedy stage. We have to note that the situation with the release of detainees is tragic and raises serious concerns,” the ombudswoman said.

The previous prisoner exchange in Donbass took place in April 2020. Donetsk handed over nine people to Kiev and the latter passed ten people to Donetsk. In 2019 - 2020, Ukraine handed over 71 detainees to the Republic, but Donetsk repeatedly said that Kiev had not dropped criminal charges against 50 of them.

A new round of Donbass peace talks began earlier in the day.*jk