Unfortunately, the first round of the negotiations of the humanitarian subgroup of the Contact Group in 2021 did not meet the expectations of building a constructive dialogue. Despite the new year, the position of the Ukrainian side is still the same – representatives of the official Kiev continue to sabotage, especially in the key issue of the exchange of detainees.
Thus, Ukraine did not provide any information about the “procedural cleansing” of 50 persons previously transferred to the territory of the DPR as a part of the exchange. It should be remembered that a year has passed since the moment when Kiev was supposed to end the criminal prosecution of these citizens. However, Kiev has not fulfilled its obligations yet and is evading answers to any questions regarding the procedure. Moreover, today the representatives of Kiev even tried to blackmail the Republic with this topic, offering the “procedural cleansing” in return for agreeing on a new stage of the exchange!
I consider such statements are blatant insinuations. And I stress one more time that the conditions for unblocking the discussion of the exchange of detainees between the DPR and Ukraine remain unchanged: Kiev must reaffirm its commitment to the Complex of measures and end the persecution of previously released people, as required by the relevant documents that were signed by the parties.
Today, the lack of progress on the issue of exchange is the absolute fault of Kiev, which cynically manipulates the fate of people in the pursuit of political benefits. The fact that the Ukrainian side is not interested in the next stages of the exchange is also evidenced by the following fact: numerous requests from the DPR about the status of citizens wanted by the Republic remain unanswered. It should be mentioned that without this information, it is simply impossible to form new exchange lists.
In general, today during the meeting of the humanitarian subgroup, we heard many emotional phrases from the representatives of Ukraine, they actively engaged in polemics. However, there were no facts or proposals that the Ukrainian side sounded. The Ukrainian negotiators answer none of the questions that were asked by the representatives of the Republics or the coordinator of the group. It makes no sense to analyze and retell all words of our counterparts. But I highlight that this behavior indicates two points. First, Kiev adheres to last year’s destructive line of negotiations and continues to block work on the Minsk site. Secondly, the people representing Ukraine in the negotiation process on Donbas, to put it mildly, do not know the issue that they were assigned to oversee.