“I welcome the news about the release of reporter Maria Varfolomeeva, after 419 days she spent in captivity by the so-called authorities of Luhansk. We continue to urge Russia to order separatists, which it supports and assists, to release all hostages like it is foreseen by Minsk deal”, the ambassador tweeted.
Previously on March 3, President Petro Poroshenko said that Maria Varfolomeeva, a journalist and volunteer from Luhansk was released from captivity. Since January 2015 till March this year, she was held as a hostage by mercenaries from “Luhansk People’s Republic”, accused of allegedly adjusting fire for Ukrainian troops and cooperating with the Right Sector, the far-right Ukrainian nationalist movement.
The release of all prisoners is one of conditions of the Minsk deal.
Ukraine’s Presidential Envoy on Peaceful Settlement of Donbas conflict Iryna Gherashchenko reported on March 3 that 129 Ukrainian hostages currently stay in captivity of pro-Russia militants.
“We managed to release Maria Varfolomeeva on the day of the important meeting of foreign ministers of the Normandy Four. Today in Paris, Minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin will insist that the issue of release of hostages would be one of the priorities for the sides, just like security issues”, she wrote at Facebook.
As 112 International reported, foreign ministers of the Normandy four are expected to discuss situation in Donbas at the meeting slated for late hours of March 3 in Paris.
The West and the Ukrainian government accuse Russia of supporting pro-Kremlin militants in Donbas and unwillingness to comply with Minsk agreements. Moscow denies these accusations, saying it has nothing to do with the documents, because it was never involved in the conflict, so it has no intentions to comply with the Minsk deal.