Comment of Daria Morozova on the results of the meeting of the humanitarian subgroup

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

Official Kiev does everything possible to delay the exchange process under flimsy pretexts. In fact, both sides are ready to exchange prisoners, but the representatives of Ukraine persistently refuse to release 58 people, whom we requested.

I would like to note once again that the plenipotentiary representatives from Ukraine were absent at the last meeting of the humanitarian subgroup in Minsk, which took place on October 27. Only one expert – staff of the Security Service of Ukraine – participated in the talks. He said: “Unfortunately, the position of the Ukrainian side remains the same on the issue of the release of prisoners.” However, one of Kiev official representatives misinformed that she allegedly participated in the talks via Skype. This is not the first time that Ukraine representative behaves insincere: not so long ago, an ex-employee of the special unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs “Berkut”, who is on the exchange lists, lodged a complaint against her to protect his honor and dignity.

To date, there are no well-reasoned obstacles for performing the exchange. Both sides are ready to release the detained persons, but we cannot come to agreement due to the lack of political will of the Ukrainian authorities. I want to remind you that the fate of each person means the fates of many families. There are people who have been imprisoned for more than three years. Earlier the Ukrainian side insisted that it was not possible to perform exoneration, now there are no such problems. For many, the judicial examination lasts for two – two and a half years, but there are still no court decisions. My proposal is to perform the exchange under the formula “all established for all established”. This was brought forward at the TKG meeting, where representatives of the Republics were supported in the idea of holding the exchange as soon as possible.

I once again remind the Ukrainian authorities that there are only civilians among those persons whom we request for the exchange; there are no terrorists and criminals, unlike those requested for the exchange by the Ukrainian side. They came to kill Donbass residents. Nevertheless, we are ready to release their people, as soon as they choose to perform the exchange under the formula “all confirmed for all confirmed.”

The Ukrainian side has not yet provided in writing its official position on the return of documents to persons previously released as a result of the exchange. They say there are no such mechanisms. This is a key issue for the forthcoming exchange, however, the plenipotentiary representatives of Kiev ignore this issue.

During the meeting, the issue of searching for missing persons was also discussed. A road map developed jointly with the International Committee of the Red Cross has been ready for a long time, but there is no possibility to proceed with its implementation. The unmotivated argument of the official Kiev on the inclusion of the third parties in the process of searching for missing persons is unreasonable.

We call on Ukraine to stop lying, to stop dividing people into categories, and to start fulfilling their obligations under the Minsk agreements.