Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin held a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. In his commentary for 112, he said the exchange of detainees was the main topic discussed.
“It wasn’t a meeting about our relations. How can there be any relations when we’re at war. We talked solely about how to get our guys out. It will be an exchange, a very hard one… Basically, it was the only serious issue we had agreed upon in advance, and the whole meeting was dedicated to that,” he said.
Pavlo Klimkin said the option of deploying a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas was also briefly discussed.
“Of course, we touched upon, very briefly, the prospects of a peacekeeping mission, but it’s perfectly clear, and Lavrov said in his speech in Vienna that they believe the mission will be an occupational administration. I told my colleagues that there is already an occupational administration (in Donbas, - 112). So the difference in opinions is still fundamental, we will have to use our friends and partners to keep pressuring. It was just an exchange of thoughts, no more than that”.
As to the possibility of another meeting with Lavrov, Klimkin said this one happened in the framework of the OSCE Ministerial Council to discuss the exchange and he wasn’t planning to have another.
Previously Iryna Gerashchenko announced the large-scale exchange by the New Year. 74 Ukrainians are to be exchanged for 306 detained members of Donbas-based illegal armed gangs.