One of the issues discussed by the humanitarian subgroup at today’s meeting in Minsk was the return of documents to persons released earlier. Now there are 128 persons in the Republic who have been released earlier through the exchange, but they have not yet received their identity documents back. The Ukrainian side, contrary to its own promises, has provided neither documents nor even a developed mechanism to return them. At every meeting I highlight this issue, especially on the eve of the forthcoming exchange, because I do not want to add another 306 people, who we hope to return before the New Year, to these 128.
I also raised the issue of detaining Yulia Prosolova. Before that, we had not received any official response from the Ukrainian side to the request regarding her whereabouts, although the Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine personally made public a video showing the so-called “confession of committing a crime”. I should note they don’t allow the lawyer to Yulia, they even recommended her choosing another one; representatives of international organizations have not yet visited the girl, too. Although, Yulia’s mother managed to hand over some warm clothes, the girl was detained as early as October 19. I once again drew negotiators’ attention to the fact that the Ukrainian Special Services detain women, in particular, who are absolutely irrelevant to the conflict in Donbass.
The lists became central issue of discussion at the meeting of the humanitarian subgroup on the eve of the forthcoming exchange. For the time being, the lists of detained persons have been agreed upon by both parties. Viktor Medvedchuk confirmed the willingness of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to perform the long-awaited exchange, mentioning that Ukraine was hindering the process. This is explained by the fact that clearing our people from charges is the responsibility of the Ukrainian side. According to negotiators of the official Kiev, they need more time, as the persons confirmed by both sides have different procedural status. Some people have already been convicted, and they are currently serving their sentence, others are still under trial, and the rest are under investigation. Plenipotentiaries assured us that they would do their utmost to prepare the guys for the exchange. I reaffirmed full readiness of the Donetsk People’s Republic to perform the first stage of the exchange, stressing that it should be held as soon as possible, before the New Year. I hope that the Ukrainian side will have enough time to handle all legal aspects and not delay the return of the detained persons.
I would like to remind you that there are people whom the Ukrainian side hasn’t confirmed yet. And we will work to return them. Performing the first stage of the exchange we’ll make a step forward to implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Package of Measures that provides for “all for all” exchange. Representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic are committed to the Minsk Agreements, since full implementation of them will contribute to reunification of families and establishment of peace in Donbass.