Comment of Daria Morozova following Minsk negotiations

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

This week the regular meeting of the humanitarian subgroup took place. One of the issues under discussion was the return of documents to persons previously released as a result of the exchange. Representatives of the United Nations joined the discussion, and gave examples of return of documents from international practice. However, in our situation, according to the Ukrainian side, such mechanisms can be applied only to two persons – those having an act of pardon from the President of Ukraine. We insist on the return of all 126 seized documents. Let me remind you that the plenipotentiaries assured us at the previous meeting in early October of the need to make some “creative” document that would regulate the return mechanism. But on Wednesday the rhetoric of the Ukrainian side changed and they claimed that having an act of pardon or Release Certificate is enough for identification. According to the Ukrainian legislation, documents contained in the files of criminal proceedings can be removed from the case only by a court decision. However, at the talks, they gave us photocopies of receipts that certify the return of ID documents to some persons, addressed to pre-trial investigation bodies. It turns out that the Ukrainian side may violate its own legislation, if they wish so. And applicability of a legal mechanism depends on whether it is beneficial for the Ukrainian side or not.

All the documents discussed are only “papers” for some people of Ukraine. Such a neglectful and disrespectful attitude to the documents issued by Ukraine, which testify citizenship, is shocking. Kiev negotiators refuse to realize that each seized document affects lives of people.

The main issue under discussion was the release of detained persons. Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to have any progress regarding the long-awaited exchange because the person responsible for the release of the detained persons was absent. The other plenipotentiary of the Ukrainian side takes the discussion out of a constructive line, providing inconsistent information. Our side continues to insist on the main exchange principle – “all for all” – and the impropriety of dividing the detained persons into categories, because this is not provided for by the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements. And, despite all difficulties, we will seek for the return of all our men to their relatives as soon as possible.