Kiev and Donbass Failed to Agree on the Exchange of Captives
OREANDA-NEWS. Representatives of Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics (LPR and DPR) failed to reach an agreement on the exchange of captured persons during negotiations in Minsk.
This was reported on December 18 by Olga Kobtseva, the delegate from the LPR in the humanitarian subgroup of the Contact Group. According to her, this occurred due to the fact that the Ukrainian side does not have a “mechanism for the procedural cleaning of people who are subject to exchange.” It was not possible to build a dialogue on the opening of new checkpoints between Ukraine and the LPR, she added.
“It can be stated that Ukraine today actually disrupted the agreement on two decisions reached at the Normandy meeting,” Kobtseva stated.
According to the Donetsk News Agency, the talks in Minsk were held against the backdrop of an aggravated situation on the contact line. In the morning of December 18, shelling near the city of Gorlovka was registered; in the evening of Wednesday, the western part of Donetsk came under mortar fire.The meeting of the leaders of the “Normandy Four” (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany) was held in Paris on December 9. After it, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that during the negotiations, an agreement on the exchange of captured persons in the “all for all” format until December 31 was reached. The parties also agreed to the withdrawal of forces at three new points in the Donbass by the end of March 2020. In addition, the leaders of the “Normandy Four” advocated amending the Constitution of Ukraine on the basis of the “Steinmeier formula.”