Today, on April 26, in Minsk, negotiations of the humanitarian subgroup ended, where the verification mechanism was discussed.
During the discussion, the representative of the Ukrainian side inappropriately and cynically referred to a group of relatives, namely, calling them “God knows who”. According to her, the Ukrainian side does not understand why relatives should be allowed to participate in the verification process. After that the representative of Kiev declared that it is Ukraine’s sovereign right to decide – for whom to open their prisons.
Being the Ombudsman for Human Rights, I will never allow anyone to express themselves in such a manner to mothers and wives. The Ukrainian representatives completely forgot about manners and respect. Furthermore, this is evidenced by the fact that the representative demonstratively left the meeting, thus showing disrespect to other members of the humanitarian subgroup. At the Contact Group meeting our representatives raised the issue of the unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to participate in the negotiation process.
The atmosphere of the meeting was extremely tense, as the Ukrainian representative sabotaged and disrupted the negotiation process in every possible way. She suggested that the group of relatives would visit 159 people in private capacity, emphasizing that the Ukrainian side considers them free people and cannot oblige them to come to the place of the meeting. In addition, the representative of the Ukrainian side tried to mislead all negotiators, stating that the mandate of Ms. Lutkovskaya had expired, so that she cannot use it for the third parties. Having looked through Ukrainian legislation, namely the Law of Ukraine “On the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine”, I could find out the Ukrainian negotiator in a lie. Just after this statement, while the negotiations were still going, we phoned Valeria Lutkovskaya, and she assured us that her powers were in force.
At the last moment, we managed to agree that on Friday, April 28, at 8:00 the verification process will begin. Let’s hope that this time no provocative actions by certain representatives of official Kiev will break the agreements reached, once again delaying the exchange process.