Prisoner swap: Gerashchenko says militants submitted additional lists

Prisoner swap: Gerashchenko says militants submitted additional lists

The Ukrainian side has proposed conducting a Skype conference of the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on December 20 in order to agree on the final details of the exchange of prisoners before the New Year and Christmas holidays, since the opposite side always puts forward additional requirements.

A member of the TCG's humanitarian subgroup, Iryna Gerashchenko, reported this on her Facebook page on Monday.

"The Ukrainian side proposed holding a Skype conference on December 20 to agree on the final details," she wrote.

She said that at today's Skype conference of the humanitarian subgroup on the release of hostages and detainees, Ukraine confirmed its readiness for prisoner swap before the New Year and Christmas holidays, or even sooner. At the same time, on December 14-15, the Minsk group received additional lists from representatives of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (ORDLO) with the demand to include more people in the lists for release. "This, in fact, brings a serious confusion in determining the date for the exchange, and, in fact, leads to the disruption of the process," Gerashchenko said.

She stated that, unfortunately, despite the fundamental issues on the agenda that were determined earlier, the Ukrainian side had not received an answer to the question of verification of people who categorically refuse to move to the occupied territories, but have stated this only now.

"ORDLO, in fact, insists that the Ukrainian side bring free people to the contact line. The Russian Federation also said that there will be no release if we do not bring all 306 people to the contact line, including those already freed and those who do not want to move into the 'Russian world,' from whom there are relevant statements and whose lawyers appealed to us with the demand not to violate human rights," Gerashchenko said.

According to her, the Ukrainian side expects the OSCE to provide clear and unambiguous answers and position on persons who are already at large.

"All this will speed up the determination of the final date for the release of hostages. We are doing everything for good news. We are moving. The colossal work has been done by the PGO, the SBU, the Minsk Group, our diplomats, ombudsman, and all this should yield results," she wrote.


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