Ukraine did not get Moscow’s reply to Kyiv’s offer to release more than 30 convicted Russians in exchange for the release of the Ukrainian hostages, as Iryna Gerashchenko, the current First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada and President's Humanitarian Envoy at the Minsk peace talks regarding the War in Donbas, wrote on Facebook.
“We were informed about the deterioration of the health condition of Volodymyr Balukh, Oleg Sentsov and others,” Gerashchenko wrote.
According to her, Ukraine has not received an answer from Russia concerning the offers to exchange Russians for Ukrainians – neither within the humanitarian subgroup in Minsk, nor through the Foreign Ministry or Ombudsmen Institute.
Gerashchenko noted that they also discussed the issue of the Ukrainian fishermen detained by the occupants and those convicted by the Ukrainian courts till February 2014 who are serving a sentence on the occupied territories.
“These citizens convicted for the crimes are also Ukrainians. The Ukrainian side is ready to facilitate their transfer. The office of the commissioner is ready to do this (having the relevant appeals from the families of the convicted). I have passed this information and relevant office’s contacts to the OSCE representatives four times within the Minsk group, but there is no progress due to the barriers from the ORDLO (Separated Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, - ed.) side,” the President's Humanitarian Envoy wrote.
She stressed that until “the Kremlin gives permission, no progress in the question of the release of the hostages and searching for the missing will be made”.
Earlier, it was reported that Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko would be ready to pardon the Russians kept in Ukraine and exchange them for the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russian Federation.
Reportedly, Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine’s Ombudsman, stated that 22 convicted Russians wrote Putin appeals with a request to exchange them for the Ukrainians political prisoners.