On May 4, a regular meeting of the humanitarian subgroup took place in Minsk. I would like to note that the issues of return of documents and legal status of persons, who returned to the DPR as a result of the exchange, remain open. Plenipotentiary representatives were absent at the Minsk meeting, so it was impossible to get a response from the Ukrainian side concerning its official position on the second stage of the exchange. I consider it unacceptable that the Ukrainian side continues to ignore requests from the DPR, as this prevents us from making progress in the realization of the Minsk Agreements. On each request someone’s fate depends, so it is cynical and inhumane not only towards detainees but also towards their families to ignore these requests. The Ukrainian side makes highlight declarations on the second stage of the exchange while taking no action, which is outrageous. I asked the delegates of the Ukrainian side who were present at the meeting to get the message across to the state leaders that the exchange issue is utterly important, as long as people are being held in prisons.
Another unresolved issue is the search for missing persons. I suggested creating a mechanism for searching people by DPR and Ukraine with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross. I remind that a year and a half ago a draft roadmap was developed but the Ukrainian side refuses to implement it on various pretexts. For the umpteenth time, I call on the negotiators to seriously and responsibly address the issue of a joint search for the missing, since there are families whose relatives went missing. The issue is as important as the issue of release because the absence of information about relatives’ fates is equaled with torture, according to the international law. I call upon the Ukrainian side to be guided by principles of humanism not only towards citizens of the Republic but also towards citizens of their state.