The proposal from Kiev to exchange prisoners under the formula “66 for 19” contradicts Minsk Agreements on peaceful settlement in Donbass, said DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova.
Earlier, a Ukrainian representative at Minsk negotiations Yevhen Marchuk announced that Kiev can perform the prisoner exchange on December 27 under the formula “66 for 19”.
“We are ready to exchange prisoners on December 27, 2018… But there was no response from the Ukrainian side. Instead, they made their own exchange proposal that contradicts Minsk Agreements. Again, the approach used by the Ukrainian side to compile this list is unclear. There are too few people,” Morozova said.
She believes that Kiev is not willing to perform the prisoner exchange before the end of the year, as required by Minsk memorandum. We have been waiting for their counter-moves for eleven months. They manipulated this issue, giving the appearance of work. If they really wanted to perform the exchange, they would have worked through our list and come up with a reasoned response. Since we have not received any response, I believe Kiev is not willing to perform the exchange,” DPR Ombudsman said.
Morozova hopes that the possible change of power in Ukraine will facilitate positive decisions in prisoner exchange issues. “Most likely, according to my personal impression, the Ukrainian side has no political will. I really want the exchange to transpire after the election campaign. But the change of power might facilitate implementation of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, namely paragraph 6,” she added.
The presidential election in Ukraine is scheduled for spring 2019, and parliamentary elections – for autumn.
In late December 2017, the first prisoner exchange for 15 months took place in Donbass. Parties to the conflict had claimed that the exchange process will be continued. Then, the parties had planned to hold the second stage of the prisoner exchange at the beginning of this year.