The exchange of prisoners of war between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed “LNR” “DNR” will take place before December 25. This was reported by two sources in the Minsk contact group, as well as by two interlocutors in Russian diplomatic circles, Izvestia reports.
As it became known, the final lists will be approved on December 20 - this day will be the last meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk in 2017. It is about 74 Ukrainian prisoners and 306 captured separatists.
At the same time, the fate of about 30 prisoners who do not want to return to Donetsk and Luhansk remains unclear.
"Donbas doubts in desire of those people to remain in Ukraine. So the Ukrainian side suggests sending independent experts to confirm their intentions, this is a correct and reasonable move," one source said.
According to the agency, Kyiv is serious about resolving the issue of exchanging prisoners before this date.
As the warring sides of the Donbas conflict agreed for the exchange of hostages, Ukraine expects to welcome 74 prisoners back home by the end of the year.
‘If nothing extraordinary happens we will release 74 of our people; it is going to be the most ambitious act, as we’re going to release them and, in exchange, pass 306 individuals – which meets the requirements of the deal that we’ve made,’ she said.
According to the Ukrainian official, details of the exchange, specifically, names and dates currently remain undisclosed until certain time – ‘as soon as we’re ready to reveal it’.