The militants of “Luhansk People’s Republic” have refused from the offer of the Ukrainian side in the Trilateral Contact Group to hold the video conference of the humanitarian subgroup on the prisoners’ exchange on December 27. The representatives of “Donetsk People’s Republic” and Russia did not respond to the offer at all as Ukraine’s representative Iryna Gerashchenko reported on Facebook.
She reminded that earlier Ukraine has initiated the great exchange of the prisoners on January 5, 2019; however, it did not get any constructive position even from the OSCE. Particularly, Coordinator of the Organization Toni Frisch offered to hold the conference on December 29 instead of December 27 and the Ukrainian negotiators agreed on it.
“The representatives of occupied Donbas sent the letter, in which they refused from the Skype conference and called the initiatives of Ukraine and release of the hostages “PR campaign”,” Gerashchenko said.
“Besides, I am forced to note that the Russian Federation and its representatives have not sent any written reply to the Ukrainian offers. They only verbally respond in the group that “we are not there” and “it's a civil war”. I understand why they do not respond in the written form; they do not want to leave any documents but it will not release Russia from the responsibility for the unleashing war and the non-fulfillment of Minsk Agreements,” she added.
Earlier, Ukraine offered Russia to exchange hostages on January 5, 2019. According to the official, Ukraine passed the OSCE the proposal to pardon and pass 72 pro-Kremlin separatists in exchange for 19 Ukrainian hostages held in the occupied territories. Kyiv is also ready to pass Russia 22 citizens, detained in judged in Ukraine. In exchange, the Ukrainian side urges the Kremlin to release and send 22 political prisoners back to Ukraine.
Last time the sides exchanged hostages on December 27, 2017. According to the SBU data, 73 people returned to Ukraine-controlled territory, while 233 returned to the occupied areas of Donbas.