At the last meeting of the Humanitarian Subgroup of the Contact Group on peaceful settlement in Donbass, we addressed lists of detainees with the view to perform the exchange of prisoners as soon as possible.
The Ukrainian side confirmed that 118 of all persons requested are now in the territory of Ukraine. Earlier a Ukrainian representative promised to provide an official position concerning the exchange under “all confirmed for all confirmed” format, as well as a position regarding categories of detainees. Unfortunately, these documents were not provided to us. These actions hinder the work of the Humanitarian Subgroup.
The plenipotentiaries made an exchange proposal in the format which we deem unacceptable. They argued that the persons requested by us are charged with having committed grave crimes and those not related to the conflict. Having analyzed the proposal, we found that the Ukrainian side has added the above-mentioned persons to the proposed list. This once again showed that Kiev is being selective in prisoner exchange and it is unwilling to implement Minsk agreements. The formula offered by the Ukrainian side is unacceptable, as it contradicts paragraph 6 of the Minsk agreement, which provides for the exchange of all for all with an intermediate formula “all confirmed for all confirmed”. The position of the Donetsk People’s Republic regarding the exchange formula remains principled and immutable.
As a response to the fact that emerged recently – in December 2018, a citizen of the Russian Federation Valeriy Ivanov was beaten to death by staff of a penitentiary institution in Ukraine – we raised a question of signing the Declaration condemning all forms of torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence and threats of violence against persons detained in connection with the conflict. The Ukrainian side ignored this initiative again.
Also, at the meeting we received certificates of persons released earlier. We are going to analyze this information and send our official position thereon. At the end of the meeting, the issue of missing persons was raised. Representatives of Ukraine refused to implement the project that we have insisted on for several years.