Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Donbas Leonid Kravchuk has said Ukraine wants to ensure the return of 11 prisoners from Russia-occupied Donbas by the end of the year.
The list has already been submitted to the ORDLO, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, he told the Hromadske media outlet in an interview.
"We are waiting for the relevant submissions from the ORDLO. Because the swap is not just a unilateral action. So far, we do not see such reciprocal steps from the ORDLO," he said.
Read alsoDonbas war update: Ukraine reports one WIA amid two ceasefire violations on Nov 19According to Kravchuk, the Ukrainian delegation does not have information about the number of people in the occupied territories who "have been suffer from various forms of pressure," but it is known there are such people. Therefore, Ukraine wants first to swap those people who have already been put on the lists, and later act on the "all for all" principle and seek to make it happen in the near future.
Prisoner swap: background
- On August 13, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the country had submitted a swap list to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); it has about 100 names on it.
- On April 23, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Heidi Grau said the next prisoner swap in Donbas would be carried out in the format of all identified detainees for all identified ones.
- On November 18, spokesman for the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group Oleksiy Arestovych said a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia might take place by the end of the year.