Topic of exchange has not developed for more than year because of Kiev’s fault – Daria Morozova on results of meeting of humanitarian group

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

Today at the meeting of the humanitarian group, representatives of Kiev announced Ukraine’s intention to unblock the process of delivery of humanitarian supplies to the DPR through the “Novotroitskoye-Elenovka” checkpoint. It should be reminded that the Ukrainian side has been hindering the movement of humanitarian convoys through this checkpoint without any explanations. According to the assurances of opponents, on 15 April 2021, next Thursday, the ICRC will finally be able to deliver aid to the territory of the Republic through a direct channel.

At the same time, the Kiev negotiators couldn’t argue that way neither the initial decision to close, nor the current decision to open the passage. This means that Kiev is capable of repeating such a provocation at any moment. It is premature to talk about stabilization of the situation.

As for the procedural “cleansing” of the participants in the 2019-2020 exchanges, the Ukrainian representatives traditionally disrupted the discussion of this issue. Kiev reported a zero result of its work in this area. That is, contrary to the undertaken  obligations, the criminal prosecution of 50 persons previously transferred to the DPR within the framework of the exchange continues. As a result, because of the fault of Ukraine, negotiations regarding the discussion of new stages of the exchange of detainees remain blocked.

Taking into account that the topic of exchange has not developed for more than a year, the OSCE humanitarian coordinator announced his intention again to bring up for discussion the issue of signing by the participants a joint Declaration on the Non-Use of Torture to Persons Detained in Connection with the Conflict. This proposal was already on the agenda in 2018, but then Kiev refused to sign the document. The issue will also be submitted for consideration at the level of the Contact Group.