On December 18th, Ukraine sabotaged the process of exchanging prisoners with the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), agreed at the Normandy Four meeting in Paris.
The Ombudsman of the DPR Daria Morozova announced that the next steps for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine were sabotaged by Kiev.
“The negotiations that took place at the meeting of the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group for the Settlement of the Situation in the Donbass were to reach an agreement on the exchange of prisoners. Unfortunately, it can be stated that the position of the Ukrainian side is a sabotage of all the recommendations spelled out at the Normandy Four summit in Paris on December 9th,” she said.
Morozova added that the position of the Ukrainian delegation led to the failure to implement the recommendations agreed upon at the meeting of the Norman Four for the finalization of the process to exchange prisoners by the end of 2019.
“The inability of official Kiev to fulfill its obligations may lead to the fact that people will not be able to celebrate the New Year holidays with their family and friends,” the Ombudsman summed up.
On December 9th, the Normandy Four summit was held in Paris, with the leaders of Germany, Russia, France and Ukraine in attendance. During the negotiations, the parties prepared a final communique in which they announced a number of specific agreements.
One of the expected outcomes was the decision to exchange prisoners in Eastern Ukraine on the principle of releasing all prisoners back to their respective side before the end of the year.
The participants in the summit also pledged to ensure a complete and comprehensive ceasefire by the end of 2019, and also agreed to support the agreement within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group on three additional areas for the separation of forces and assets in the conflict zone by the end of March 2020.
Furthermore, the next round of negotiations in Minsk for the settlement of the conflict took place on December 18th.
Participants in the Trilateral Contact Group for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine completed negotiations in Minsk, the next meeting is scheduled for January 16th 2020. This was reported in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPR.
“The Contact Group meeting has ended. The next meeting in Minsk will take place on January 16, 2020,” the diplomatic department noted.
Prior to the meeting it was reported about plans to discuss the issues of ensuring a stable ceasefire in the conflict zone, the application of additional measures to guarantee the ceasefire, the new sections for the separation of troops, preparation for the exchange of prisoners and others.
Negotiations took place against the background of ongoing shelling in the Donbass. In the evening, the Kiev army opened mortar and grenade launcher fire towards the western outskirts of Donetsk city. Ukraine’s position in the negotiations was such that no conclusive agreements could be reached and the entire meeting was essentially sabotaged by Kiev.
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