Statement from Daria Morozova following Minsk meeting

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

The today’s meeting of the Humanitarian Subgroup of 11.12.2020 Ответственность за распитие алкоголя в запрещенных местах и за появление в общественных местах в нетрезвом виде was focused on the lists of persons to be exchanged. The Ukrainian side came up with another way to block the exchange of detainees. Representatives of Kiev unilaterally developed a questionnaire and conducted verification of persons subject to the exchange. This is contrary to previously reached agreements and the well-established practice of carrying out verification at the line of contact during the exchange. We have reason to doubt that the interviews were conducted in a proper manner, so we cannot deem the results of the unilateral verification trustworthy. We need to personally make sure that the persons subject to the exchange indeed expressed a wish to stay in the territory of Ukraine.

Moreover, the Ukrainian side completely refused to provide guarantees of granting pardon in respect of persons to whom the measure of restraint will be changed to a personal commitment if a court delivers a guilty verdict against these persons in absentia. So, Kiev does not provide any guarantee that after the exchange the people will be clear of all charges.

These statements of plenipotentiaries of Ukraine once again demonstrate the unwillingness to resolve the issue and their intentional manipulations over the matter which is life-defining to hundreds of people.

We look for political decisions from the Ukrainian side and insist that guarantees of procedural “clearance” should be provided, as this is our main requirement. We are not satisfied with the unilateral verification, as the actions of the Ukrainian side do not inspire confidence. We hope that Kiev will stop delaying the process and fulfil all its obligations.