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The last meeting of the Humanitarian Subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group on Peaceful Settlement in Donbass focused on harmonizing exchange lists. Unfortunately, the destructive position of official Kiev became an obstacle to the effective discussion of the exchange of prisoners.

The Ukrainian side still hasn’t changed its rhetoric in relation to procedural clearance and is obviously not going to complete this process. In a similar counterproductive manner, a proposal was made by Kiev on the unilateral verification of detainees. However, due to the lack of reliance on the Ukrainian side and their unwillingness to cooperate, our side rejected this proposal. At the same time, an agreement was reached on the exchange of information in anticipation of the next meeting to confirm the presence of persons and include them in the exchange list.

I urge the Ukrainian side to take all possible steps as soon as possible in order to conduct a large-scale exchange of prisoners in the near future. We must give people the opportunity to celebrate the New Year holidays with their family and loved ones.