6 Apr 2018 19:23

No progress in resolving prisoner swap issue - DPR

DONETSK. April 6 (Interfax) - It has not been possible to fully discuss the exchange of captives at a meeting of the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk, Darya Morozova, the ombudsman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said.

"We were unable to reach a solution to the main issues on the agenda during the humanitarian subgroup's meeting in Minsk on April 4. The prisoner swap was not fully discussed, because representatives of Kyiv had officially stated that the Ukrainian leadership does not have a negotiated stance on this issue at the moment," Morozova told reporters on Friday.

The Ukrainian side provided its stance on the procedural status of persons released from the captivity in Ukraine on December 27, 2017, neither in written form, nor verbally. "I believe, they do it deliberately, because we saw clearly in those documents that the released persons were cleared procedurally neither at the time of the swap, nor today. Therefore, the procedural clearing, which is one of the conditions of the swap, has not happened. In addition, identification documents have still not been returned to those people. Kyiv ignores the resolution of this issue," Morozova said.

The search for missing persons was another issue on the agenda of the meeting of the humanitarian subgroup, the DPR ombudsman said. "The Ukrainian side's stance was also not confirmed by an official written document. Moreover, not enough time was spent on the issue of missing persons in Minsk, with the discussion lasting less than two minutes. The Ukrainian side's stance envisages the groundless involvement of experts from third countries, which are not parties to the conflict, in resolving this issue. I recall that the draft road map developed together with the International Committee of the Red Cross was blocked by the Ukrainian side's unclear demands over a year ago," she said.

It is inadmissible to delay resolving the issue of missing persons, she said. "There are families, whose loved ones have gone missing, on both sides of the separation line. It is inhumane and cynical to block the discussion of this subject. I hope representatives of the Ukrainian side will find a way to formalize a coordinated stance to ensure moving the negotiations in a constructive direction in the future," Morozova said.