A few dozens of people prepared for the return to occupied Donbas by Kyiv asked to exclude them from the exchange list due to the different reasons as Kommersant reported
According to one of the sources of the agency, about 40 people, included in the exchange list, refused to participate in the swap and return to the occupied territory of Donbas.
The interlocutor did not name all reasons for the refusals, he noted that there are people who did not want to return to areas of Donbas uncontrolled by Kyiv and there are people who want to serve the punishment and close the issue of the criminal prosecution in Ukraine.
‘Tough demand of Luhansk’ to legally ‘clear’ from criminal proceedings all people who should be exchanged became one of the reasons that on December 18, at the session of the Trilateral Contact Group, the sides failed to agree on the holding of ‘great exchange’ until the end of the year.
Another source of the agency, close to one of the unrecognized republics of Donbas confirmed the information about people who refused from the exchange but did not name their number.
According to this interlocutor, ‘it is important to hold clearance’ to release a person and ‘not to force him to refuse from the exchange’. The last should be confirmed as the source said.
Initially, during the talks, the issue was about to hold the check of the voluntary refusal by the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross as the separatists asked.
However, the representatives of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic stood against it and insisted on the holding of the check by the coordination of the Trilateral Contact Group subgroup on humanitarian issues Toni Frisch as he is trusted.
One of the interlocutors reported that Frisch may begin the check, which provides the meetings with people, only after the Catholic Christmas on December 25.
On December 19, Leonid Kuchma stated that the negotiations on the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed republics of the occupied Donbas continue.
As we reported leaders of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin have so far agreed to hold another round of prisoners’ exchange. The deadline would be until December 31, 2019.