Minsk Contact Group fails to agree on prisoner exchange

The parties of the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group failed to agree on an exchange of prisoners during negotiations in Minsk that took place on the 13th of July. According to the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Iryna Herashchenko, the representatives of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic continue to ignore Ukraine's initiatives.

“We have received no answers to our proposal to transfer eight saboteurs, who were detained near Shyrokyne, in exchange for our seriously ill servicemen. We've received no replies either to our proposal to transfer 50 people to SADL [separate areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions] in order to release 25 Ukrainians, Herashchenko wrote on her Facebook on Wednesday evening.

The separatists also declined the proposal to hold a family day, when relatives of detainees would be allowed to visit the prisoners. According to relevant data of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), separatists are holding 108 Ukrainians hostage in the occupied territory. Ten more Ukrainian residents are being illegally held in the Russian Federation.

On the 7th of June, the Advisor to the Head of SSU, Yuri Tandit, reported that separatists are holding 112 people hostage, including both servicemen and civilians. In May, the participants of negotiations in Minsk also failed to agree on a prisoner exchange because the representatives of separatists blocked the discussion of this issue by demanding full and general amnesty for participants of illegally armed groups.

Earlier, the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group handed over the list of 684 missing people and 114 Ukrainian citizens that are being held hostage. There are both servicemen and civilians among those who are detained by separatists.

  Ukraine, Russia, Donbas