27 Jun 2019 15:34

Medvedchuk hopes Donbas conflicting parties resolve problem of captives' swap

MOSCOW. June 27 (Interfax) - The Donbas conflicting parties are holding hundreds of people prisoner, Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk said.

"Representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk today decided to release four captives, including three servicemen. They will be handed over to me, a representative of Ukraine, in Minsk tomorrow and will go home. I wish the ordeal were over for the hundreds [of people] incarcerated on both sides of the contact line. But this can be done only in the 'all for all' format," Medvedchuk told the television channel Rossiya 24 (VGTRK) in an interview on Thursday following talks with the heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics in Minsk.

He said that it would be the first time in the past 18 months that prisoners were being transferred.

Medvedchuk underlined the importance of the Minsk Agreement's implementation and lifting of the Donbas economic blockade by the new Verkhovna Rada. "The new Verkhovna Rada should take measures envisaged by the Minsk Agreements, such as the election law, constitutional amendments, and amnesty terms. Clearly, the economic siege must end. What's more, 55% of our citizens speak in favor of direct dialogue with Donbas, and 80% want the hostilities to stop and peace to be made," Medvedchuk said.