Kyiv: Russia blocks Ukraine’s prisoner exchange with LPR and DPR

Russia continues to block the exchange of detained persons, demanding that Ukraine adopt the "peace plan" proposed by representatives of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, announced the representative of the Ukrainian delegation in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) Serhiy Garmash on air of the channel "Ukraine 24".

"We have submitted four lists. there are more than 200 people, 11 of them are in serious physical condition. Russia has never filed any lists in the six months that I was at the TCG, it blocks these processes by demanding the cancellation of the Verkhovna Rada's local elections. Now, they already want a Parliament ‘s resolution, which supposedly has to approve some kind of peace plan proposed by LPR and DPR," Garmash said.

"It shows that there will be no exchange until we procedurally clear the nine people we gave them before. Although these are not interconnected issues," he added.

Garmash noted that now he sees no progress in the exchange of prisoners with Russia’s attitude. However, he hopes for positive developments after the Normandy meeting.

"But there is one weak but significant hope: if a meeting in the "Normandy format" at the level of foreign policy advisers is held before the end of the year, then it will most likely require a positive result, and then it is possible to exchange at least these 11 people," Garmash said.

In November, Ukraine handed over to the Russian side a list of 11 people for mutual release before the end of the year, said the head of the TCG Leonid Kravchuk, noting that the ultimate goal of Ukraine is to exchange "all for all."

The last exchange in the Donbas took place on April 16. The president's office said that 20 Ukrainians had been released from captivity. The pro-Russian militants said that the Ukrainian side handed over 14 people.

The Ukrainian delegation in the TKG proposes to exchange prisoners until December 24 this year. According to information policy adviser Oleksii Arestovich, "practical work" is underway to prepare a face-to-face meeting in the "Normandy format."

The Russian side, for its part, states that it will unblock the mutual release of the detained people only after there is an agreement on the roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk agreements in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) and its approved by the Ukrainian Parliament.

  Donbas, LPR, DPR, Ukraine, Russia

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