Zelensky thanked Angela Merkel for active participation in the holding of the Normandy Summit on December 9 and the support of Ukraine in the peace settlement of the conflict in the east.
The president noted that due to the negotiations in Paris, it was possible to reach the agreements on the return of the part of detained Ukrainians.
"Unfortunately, we could not release everyone, but we returned 76 people. And we are very grateful for your participation in this process,” Volodymyr Zelensky said. He underlined that the work on the formation of other lists for the prisoner swap takes place.
Besides, he expressed concern that the agreements on the provision of the ceasefire regime in Donbas are not fulfilled completely.
According to the head of the state, the Ukrainian side will work actively on the promotion of the extra measures for a complete and comprehensive ceasefire during the next consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on January 16.
Zelensky reported that the Ukrainian side has defined the list of three extra areas for the disengagement of forces.
“It is very important for us that these are humanitarian areas. This is important for people,” he underlined.
Moreover, the president expressed concern that the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross are not allowed to visit prisoners in the uncontrolled territories.
As we reported earlier, on December 29, Ukraine and representatives of the militant-held Donbas exchanged prisoners; these are political prisoners, POWs, and civilians, some of which were not even convicted. The venue was the Mayorske checkpoint in the Donetsk region.
Ukraine passed 127 people to the non-controlled territory, and the Russian mercenaries passed 76 people to Ukraine; 12 of these were military servicemen. Another 14 people refused to be exchanged.