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Denis Pushilin: Exchange of prisoners to be one of key issues at next Contact Group’s meeting in Minsk

The process of exchanging prisoners between the Donetsk People’s Republic and Ukraine is still a matter of serious disagreement between the parties. This was said to Izvestia by DPR Permanent Representative at the talks of the Contact Group in Minsk, Chairman of the DPR People’s Council Denis Pushilin.

“This problem is constantly being slowed down, blocked and sabotaged by Ukraine. It’s no secret that it is very difficult not only for us, but also for the other parties involved in the conflict settlement to agree with the current Ukrainian authorities. This, of course, is not a panacea, but involving of additional forces of influence from the outside can contribute to the emergence of progress in this issue,” the envoy said.

According to him, the next round of talks of the Contact Group, at which one of the key issues will be exchange of prisoners, will be held on May 4 in Minsk.

As the human rights commissioner for the DPR, Daria Morozova, specified in her interview, the Ukrainian side had been provided with a list for exchange, which included 288 people. Nevertheless, representatives of Ukraine confirm only 80.

“As of April 27, 288 residents of the Donbass illegally are detained on the territory of Ukraine. Of these, Kiev confirms the presence of only 80 people. The number of people requested by us decreased, as several people in Ukraine were acquitted and released,” Daria Morozova said.

We recall that the last time the exchange of prisoners took place on December 27, 2017, it was the largest for the entire time of the military conflict in the Donbass. On that day, Ukraine handed over to the DPR 160 persons held in its territory, and 57 people left the Republic for Ukraine. Following the results of the exchange, the representatives of the People’s Republics expressed the hope that soon the next exchange will take place and the parties will achieve the desired formula of “all for all”.

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