Comment of the DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova on the results of Minsk negotiations

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

Representatives of Ukraine failed to clearly answer the important question of the exchange of POWs in the meeting of humanitarian subgroup, and they were absent from the discussion devoted to the missing persons. Creating the semblance of work – that is what the Ukrainian side demonstrates at the Minsk talks. No specifics, just irresponsibility and populism.

At the last Minsk talks, we raised the important issue of crossing checkpoints on the delimitation line. Firstly, we insist that the checkpoints extend working hours. Now they stop working at 19:30 and no one can cross the line after that time. Because of this reason people who endure all the hardships of crossing the line have more suffering. Our people have to stay in the open air in the night, at the places they can be attacked. Soon we will discuss the possibility of 24-hour regime in these points. Secondly, we insist that the weight of hand luggage increase to 50 kg, since 20 kg is not enough. We are waiting for these humanitarian issues to be solved, but the Ukrainian side constantly refers to deterioration of security situation at the checkpoints, although it is not our fault. A striking example of this is the shelling by Ukrainian forces against “Yelenovka” checkpoint with all the consequences that come with it. Checkpoints in Zaitsevo and Marinka repeatedly stopped functioning due to shelling.

The other important issue discussed at the meeting was the release of our men and the search for missing persons. Unfortunately, the official Kyiv delays the implementation of the sixth paragraph of the Minsk agreements that deals with release of hostages and “all for all” exchange. For what purpose do cynical representatives from the Ukrainian side, appointed by Mr. Poroshenko, take part in the meetings? It is possible to work as a postman and organize PR campaigns in places other than that. Why drive negotiations to the dead end?! We are ready to perform the exchange. It may be held within a day or two. But we need a strong-willed decision of the Ukrainian side to do it.

It was officially announced about 602 people. This figure plus 8 sappers who performed humanitarian missions totals 610 people. The option proposed by the Ukrainian side is “man for man.”

In this exchange proposal, our opponents impose double standards in fulfilling their obligations – these people would be exchanged, but the rest would not. Selective approach is certainly convenient for the representatives of Ukraine, they can release eight sappers. A logical question arises, why then cannot all the other supporters of our Republic be released? We constantly hear excuses that criminal proceedings are opened for all other men, which is why we do not accept exchange offers from the Ukrainian side. I note that selective approach contradicts the Minsk agreements, it will lead to chaos, and that’s why we insist on step-by-step implementation of the 5 and 6 points of the Package of Measures. I would like to add that the representatives of Ukraine were absent on the discussion of the issue of missing persons. Because of irresponsibility on the part of our opponents, there is no progress, and I think the Ukrainian side is quite satisfied with it. I will remind you that the Package of Measures was signed, and we must implement it, instead of creating the appearance of work.

It is unfortunate that our mothers, whose sons are kept in Ukrainian penitentiary institutions and secret prisons, still cannot see their sons because of this irresponsible approach to fulfilling their obligations on the part of Ukraine. I sympathize with the mothers from the Ukrainian side as well, because it pulls the wool over their eyes, trying to reduce social tension caused by the incompetent coordination of the POWs exchange process by the Ukrainian President. Again, he could make one decision, and all the POWs could be at home within a few days.

Based on the above, I make a new proposal to the Ukrainian side, the last one, to make a Family Day – to perform the long-awaited exchange through “all for all” formula. To reunite the families of both sides of the conflict for real, not for one day, as the Ukrainian side wants to do in the middle of August, but forever. This is the goal that I pursue, and I will fight for every soldier to the end.