Comment from Daria Morozova on statement of Leonid Kravchuk on transfer of exchange lists by Ukraine

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

The public statements that have recently been made by official representatives of Kiev in the Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the crisis in Donbas do not stand up to scrutiny. Not just incorrect theses, but outright lie and gibberish are heard from the lips of the current Ukrainian speakers. A striking example is the statement by the head of the Ukrainian delegation, Leonid Kravchuk, on the situation with the exchange of detainees. Thus, according to him, Ukraine sent its list for the exchange to the DPR and LPR a month ago. It allegedly included 11 people, after whose return Kiev intends to carry out the final stage of the exchange procedure according to the “all for all” formula. At the same time, Mr. Kravchuk reproaches the Republic for the fact that we have not provided our lists… Reading such statements, one gets the impression that the members of the Ukrainian delegation live in some kind of parallel and not too healthy reality. Let me explain why.

First. We did not receive any exchange lists from the Ukrainian side a month, a week, or a day ago.

Second. At the moment, we are looking for 103 people on the territory of Ukraine and regularly send requests to our counterparts in order to obtain information about these people. It is important for us to understand their status – place of detention, reason, state of health, etc. Only with this data, we will be able to form our list of people to exchange. However, despite numerous requests from our side, since the beginning of 2020, we have not received any information from Kiev on any of the above 103 people.

Third. I strongly recommend that the current representatives of the Ukrainian delegation carefully consult documents that were previously signed by the members of the Contact Group and on the basis of which the entire Minsk negotiation process is built. Then, perhaps, Mr. Kravchuk will not make absurd statements about preparations for the “final exchange” according to the “all for all” formula.

The fact is that it is simply impossible to exchange “all for all” until the end of the conflict in Donbas. That is why an agreement was reached to work according to the “all installed for all installed” formula.

In addition, the need to ensure the final stage of the exchange on the principle of “all for all” is enshrined in paragraph 6 of the Package of Measures. But it can be implemented only after the previous paragraphs of this document have been completed. In particular, the fifth, which provides for the adoption of a law prohibiting the prosecution and criminal punishment of persons participating in the events in Donbas.

However, Ukraine in every possible way avoids fulfilling its obligations to implement the Package of Measures. As a result, the negotiation process at the Minsk site is currently blocked in all key areas, including the exchange of detainees. What lists and formulas can we generally talk about in such a situation?

I understand why Ukraine resorts to information provocations. This is an attempt to somehow whitewash itself and shift the blame to others for disrupting the new phase of the exchange, which many have been waiting for until the end of this year.

Once again, I remind the representatives of the Kiev delegation that in order to discuss and plan new stages of the exchange, Ukraine first needs to complete the previous phases of the procedure by implementing the “procedural cleansing” and ending the criminal prosecution of 50 citizens transferred to the territory of the DPR in 2019-2020. At the same time, an effective dialogue is possible only after the Contact Group agrees on a roadmap for the implementation of the items of the Package of Measures and its approval at the level of the Ukrainian parliament and the president. This will be evidence of Ukraine’s commitment to the Minsk Agreements and Kiev’s peaceful intentions towards the Republics.

There is a lot of work to be done, that’s why Ukraine should direct its efforts in a constructive direction, and not waste them on vain attempts to manipulate public opinion through the media.