On 17 January, the first meeting of this year of the Humanitarian Subgroup of the Contact Group on peaceful settlement in Donbass is to take place in Minsk. I express my sincere hope that this year our efforts will bring meaningful changes, and we will manage to resolve all the issues on the agenda through constructive cooperation.
The main priority of the Humanitarian Subgroup this year is to organize the exchange of detainees under “all confirmed for all confirmed” format. To this end, it is necessary that Ukrainian plenipotentiaries attend the meetings.
Another issue of concern is a joint search for missing persons. I expect that the Ukrainian side will no longer block this important issue with unreasoned demands, but will show humanity and compassion towards families of the missing persons. The mechanism should be developed and launched as soon as possible.
At the forthcoming meeting we need to resolve issues of providing documents for citizens who returned to the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic as a result of the exchange, determining their legal status, and signing a Declaration condemning all forms of torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence and threats of violence against persons detained in connection with the conflict.
For our part, we reiterate the openness of the Donetsk People’s Republic and our willingness for a peaceful dialogue with a view to resolving the conflict in Donbass as soon as possible.