NewsSecurity

Russia to Block Detainees’ Exchange

TKG Minsk

Ukraine has been waiting for more than a month now for the Russian Federation response regarding the conditions and location of persons detained in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories, whose release Kyiv demands.

As the Presidential Office press service reports, this issue was discussed at the Tripartite Contact Group meeting.

“A TCG regular meeting took place in a video conference format. Within the working group on humanitarian issues, the Ukrainian side performed all the necessary procedures, having provided the OSCE with the information on detainees requested by the other party in the framework of mutual release. Ukraine has been waiting for the information about the conditions and location of the requested persons detained in the temporarily occupied territories for more than a month,” the statement reads.

Denis Kazansky, a Ukrainian delegation member in the contact group, explained that Russia’s representatives in the TCG insist on amendment of the Verkhovna Rada resolution “On calling the next local elections in 2020.”

At the same time, OSCE Coordinator Tony Frisch called it inadmissible to link the release of detainees to other issues. He called on all the participants to complete the process of exchanging the lists for the mutual release. After that, he withdrew other questions because of blocking the negotiation process for political reasons.

One reported that a framework decision on mine action was agreed to the full extent at the meeting, which will become the basis for humanitarian de-mining works in the future.

In particular, the question is about an agreement of 19 priority sites of de-mining coordinates. The 20th site near Zolote will be de-mined within an additional checkpoint opening in the area (scheduled for November).

In addition, the next four sites for forces and means separation were agreed in principle.

The task for the security group to develop a detailed plan and finalise the draft appendix to the TCG Framework Decision on the Separation of Forces and Means as of 21 September 21, 2016, was set up.

The next Tripartite Contact Group meeting is scheduled for 16 September.

To recap, in early August, the Presidential office head Andriy Yermak announced an exchange of detainees in a “100-for-100” format between the Ukrainian side and pro-Russian militants in Donbas.

Bohdan Marusyak

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