The release of the detained Ukrainian military and civilians from the Russian-occupied Donbas by the end of the year will be impossible without the relevant will of the Russian Federation, believes Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas settlement, Leonid Kravchuk.
"If the ORDLO [occupied areas] and the Russian side show no appropriate will, decisions, and desires, then I think this is unrealistic. That's because the Ukrainian side has resolved all issues related to the exchange. We have long handed over the list of 11 people and now we are waiting for their list, but so far they haven't provided any, and this is the main reason that such prisoner swap is in limbo," Kravchuk told Ukraine 24 TV channel.
At the latest TCG meeting, Kravchuk recalled, the Ukrainian side turned to Russia and the representatives of Russia's proxy forces in Donbas to take measures to resolve the issue. "Because they said that by New Year and Christmas, such major holidays, everyone would want people who have suffered so much to have already returned home. And secondly, if we resolve this issue now, the next question of the 'all-for-all' swap becomes realistic," said Kravchuk.
Today, on December 3, the Verkhovna Rada's Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova said that representatives of the Russian-controlled forces are determined to proceed to the exchange of held persons after technical issues have been settled.