For the time being, Kiev isn’t willing to conduct the exchange of POWs with the Donetsk People’s Republic, DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova said to journalists.
Earlier, Morozova announced that DPR was ready for the exchange under “52 for 85” formula.
“I believe, the Ukrainian side is not willing to conduct the exchange at the moment. They insisted on a videoconference. However, we cannot get any guarantees regarding the exchange from them for about four months. For four months already we have been asking them to guarantee that prisoners will be clear of criminal charges and that there will be no prosecution. The Ukrainian side, however, always ignores that,” Morozova said.
She explained that termination of criminal prosecution is a cornerstone of the future exchange.
“If they are determined to conduct an exchange before the New Year, then everything is in their hands, we are waiting for a response to our letters and guarantees of procedural clearance. If there is a political will of Ukraine to do so, we will be ready for the exchange in a matter of weeks. They say a lot of things, but in fact, two years have already passed, and the second stage of the exchange hasn’t taken place so far. This all should be officially confirmed and then – we may begin,” Morozova explained.
The latest exchange of prisoners between Kiev and the Donbass took place at the end of December 2017. The parties to the conflict stated that the process of release of detainees will continue.
In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the LPR and the DPR, which declared independence after the coup d’état in Ukraine in February 2014. According to the latest UN data, about 13 thousand people became victims of the conflict. The issue of resolving the situation in Donbass is being discussed, including during the meetings of the Contact Group in Minsk, which, since September 2014, has already adopted three documents regulating steps to de-escalate the conflict. However, even after armistice agreements between the parties to the conflict, exchange of fire continues.