20 Sep 2019 16:21

LPR intends to determine date of prisoner swap in Donbas in Oct 1 TCG meeting in Minsk

LUHANSK. Sept 20 (Interfax) - Representatives of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in the Contact Group on the settlement of the conflict in Donbas plan to approve the date of an exchange of captive servicemen with Ukraine in the October 1 meeting in Minsk, LPR Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego said.

"We hope that we can achieve some specifics on exchange issues in the next meeting of the Contact Group scheduled for October 1. It is possible that an understanding will be achieved on when this exchange can take place," Deinego told reporters on Friday.

He also spoke about unclear prospects of the organization of the "Normandy Four" summit (Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany).

"Ukraine's actions questioned the possibility of approving the date of the 'Normandy Four' summit. The current situation is that the organization of this summit is blocked by Ukraine as the decisions made in the previous summits have not been fulfilled and the other 'Normandy Four' participants see no prospects of new meetings without that," Deinego said.

The signing of the "Steinmeier Formula" by the participants in the Minks talks would confirm the parties' readiness for political settlement of the conflict in Donbas, he said. "The signing of the 'Steinmeier Formula' is largely a historical step, which confirms the conflict parties' readiness to work in the direction of political settlement," Deinego said.

The use of the "Steinmeier Formula" in the edition in which it was presented by the participants in the "Normandy Format" negotiations "takes a lot of work," he said. "It's primarily changes to the Constitution of Ukraine, which determine, on one hand, a permanent special status for Donbas and, on the other hand, create conditions for its use, that is, establish the territory where this special status applies," the minister said.

"It is only the start of very serious and very debatable political settlement path. Nevertheless, it is a key moment for the creation of the foundations of political settlement, using the agreements signed in Minsk," Deinego said.