Separatists agree to allow Red Cross to access POWs in eastern Ukraine

The so-called DPR (Donetsk People's Republic) and LPR (Luhansk People's Republic) have promised not to obstruct access to prisoners for representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as reported by Russia's Interfax news agency citing the office of Ombudsman of the DPR.

"We work closely with international organizations on a range of issues. There have not been, nor are there currently, barriers that would prevent ICRC from accessing prisoners," the agency said.

In turn, the office of  Ombudsman of the DPR hopes for similar action from the Ukrainian side. "We hope that Kyiv will treat this issue as seriously as we do, and that representatives of international organizations will finally be able to see in what terrible conditions and in what numbers those who disagree with the regime are held," a spokesman stated.

In turn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin hopes that the Red Cross will begin to search for missing persons in the Donbas.

"I have tried to get some evidence from the Russian side that they will put pressure on the fighters they control regarding access for international humanitarian organizations, as per the Red Cross access plan... This, unfortunately, is not what we want in terms of release [of POWs], but it is a very important first step, in that the Red Cross can begin a search for the missing - for those, whom we unfortunately can not find," Klimkin told reporters in Munich.

Earlier, the Foreign Ministers of the Normandy Four (Germany,France, Ukraine and Russia) countries had come to an agreement on prisoner access in the Donbas for representatives of the ICRC.

  POWs, Red Cross, War in Ukraine