The extraordinary meeting of the Working Group on humanitarian issues of the Contact Group has ended. The main topic that was considered in the negotiations was the opening of the “Schastie” and “Zolotoe” checkpoints on the border of the LPR and the state of Ukraine. At the same time, the issue of the exchange of detained persons between the DPR and Ukraine was not discussed at all, despite the fact that it was announced on the agenda.
This fact proves, once again, that all statements by Ukraine about its readiness for the exchange of detained persons with the DPR over the next weeks are lies and manipulation. These expressions reflect the tips of their western curators. The goal is to earn extra points for a meeting in the Normandy format and save face in front of the families of detained persons who, because of the fault of Ukraine, have been waiting in vain for the return of their loved ones for many months. In fact, all the achievements in the case of the exchange that Kiev announces in the media are far-fetched and do not correspond to the real results of the negotiations. Moreover, Ukraine is not even taking any real steps to advance the dialogue.
Indeed, people who are included in the exchange lists could celebrate New Year and Christmas at home. And the DPR, for its part, did everything to make this possible. However, the Ukrainian side is not interested in this. Today, all efforts of Kiev are focused on self-promotion and creating the appearance of the intense activity of its representatives in the Contact Group. And the announcement of a new phase of the exchange in a situation where Ukraine has not completed the 2019-2020 exchanges yet is an eloquent confirmation of this.
Our opponents are well aware that the negotiation process remains blocked, because of their fault, as a result of which neither exchange of detained persons nor progress in other areas of work on the Minsk platform is possible. In order to resume dialogue and achieve constructiveness, the sides of the conflict need to agree on a document that will contain a mechanism for unblocking negotiations and reaffirmation of adherence to the Minsk agreements. In particular, such a document can be the Roadmap proposed by the Republics. Only after the agreement of this document at the meeting of the Contact Group and its approval by the Ukrainian parliament, as well as after the termination of the criminal prosecution of previously released detainees, a realistic possibility of the following exchanges may be.