MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. The prisoner exchange held close to the line of engagement in the Donbass region on Wednesday can be a step towards a real settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, head of Russia’s State Duma (lower house) Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, Leonid Kalashnikov, told TASS.
"Of course, this is a very serious step, all the more so because church representatives took part in preparing it," he noted. "This makes it possible to bring peoples closer to each other at the mental and spiritual level. As for the prospects for further settlement, of course, this step makes it closer."
According to Kalashnikov, "both amnesty and ‘all for all’ exchanges are possible after that, as well as the necessary legislative decisions within the framework of the Minsk agreements." "If we continue to move along this path, the situation will be resolved. These steps contribute to that," he noted.
On Wednesday, a prisoner exchange was carried out along the line of engagement in the Donbass region close to the city of Gorlovka. That was the largest prisoner swap since the beginning of the conflict. The final figures have not been announced yet. However, according to preliminary data, Kiev handed over 237 detainees to the self-proclaimed republics, while the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics (DPR, LPR) transferred 73 people.