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Ukraine Proposes Holding Prisoner Swap By Year-End

Soldiers of Donbas

On 11 November, the Trilateral Contact Group met at the level of heads of delegations via videoconference. Head of the Ukrainian delegation Leonid Kravchuk urged to return home the detainees held on both sides until Christmas and the New Year, which would be an example of high morale and responsibility of the TCG participants, a sign of their desire to agree on other positions.

In addition, the Ukrainian delegation continues to insist on the start of humanitarian mine action in Donbas, in particular in 19 mined areas: cemeteries, power grids, and water supply facilities located on the contact line.

“It is extremely important to start mine clearance before the sharp deterioration of weather conditions, which will make the process physically impossible,” Kravchuk said.

General results of the meeting:

  1. Political Subgroup. The discussion was focused on the Joint Action Plan for TCG Participants to Implement the Minsk Agreements.

The Ukrainian side supported the initiative of the OSCE representatives to hold a special meeting of the Political Subgroup and confirmed its readiness to work 24/7 to agree on a single document formulated by all participants as soon as possible.

The main argument is that only two TCG meetings are left by the end of this year.

  1. Humanitarian Subgroup. Ukraine has fulfilled its obligations and opened all available entry-exit checkpoints for the movement of people and vehicles on 10 November.

The parties managed to make some progress in discussing the conditions for unblocking entry-exit checkpoints by the Russian side. These conditions are purely technical.

The OSCE representatives called on the Russian side to open entry-exit checkpoints for movement of people and vehicles in the nearest possible time, by the end of this week.

  1. Security Subgroup.

Ambassador Çevik, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and moderator of the working subgroup on security issues at the TCG, supported the parties’ intentions to adhere to the ceasefire. Çevik noted that the ceasefire had been maintained for 108 days on the whole.

The Ambassador pointed out a decrease in the number of attacks and use of heavy weapons (mortars).

  1. Economic Subgroup.

The OSCE representatives supported the proposal of the Ukrainian delegation to create “green corridors” at the entry-exit checkpoints for persons with reduced mobility, who will be able to move freely outside the general queue and receive pensions, social benefits, administrative and financial services without impediment.

Natalia Tolub

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