March 14, a regular meeting of the working subgroup on humanitarian issues took place in Minsk. Unfortunately, it can be said that the work of the subgroup almost came to a deadlock. This is primarily due to the absence of authorised representatives of Kiev at the meeting. The Ukrainian side was only represented by one expert and an interim representative appointed recently.
It is impossible to discuss the issues with persons, who are ill-informed in matters of the negotiations. Due to this, we were unable to address many issues of the agenda. It is important to say that there are cases when the agreements reached with the experts were nullified later by official representatives of the Ukrainian side, when they attended the meetings.
We cannot engage in dialogue with the Ukrainian side unless their statements are supported by an official written document. Moreover, we have not received any response to our requests, namely:
– what is the procedural status of persons who were exchanged on February 27, 2017, and why didn’t they receive their identity documents and medical records back;
– the possibility of the exchange and handover of citizens of the Russian Federation, who have been included in the exchange list earlier by the Ukrainian side, taking account of their procedural status;
– is there any progress with regard to the issue of missing persons;
– whether Ukrainian authorities still place people into categories or not;
– what is the stance of the Ukrainian side with respect to the exchange formula “all confirmed for all confirmed”.
For our part, we asked the Coordinator of the subgroup Tony Frisch to mention these issues at the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group. Also, we conveyed our proposals to the experts and asked to present them to official representatives of Ukraine.