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Prisoner exchange in Donbass depends on Zelensky’s political will, politician says

May 11, 16:25 UTC+3 KIEV

Viktor Medvedchuk said earlier that outgoing Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s lack of political will was the main reason why the prisoner exchange process had stalled

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Chairman of the Political Council of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform - For life party Viktor Medvedchuk

Chairman of the Political Council of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform - For life party Viktor Medvedchuk

© Ekaterina Shtukina/Press Service of the Government of the Russian Federation/TASS

KIEV, May 11. /TASS/. It is possible to exchange prisoners in Donbass in three to five days if Ukraine’s President-Elect Vladimir Zelensky shows political will, Chairman of the Political Council of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform - For life party Viktor Medvedchuk wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

"It is possible to free our guys in Donetsk and Lugansk (there are 62 of them there) in three to five days. Zelensky needs to show political will for that," the tweet reads.

Medvedchuk said earlier that outgoing Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s lack of political will was the main reason why the prisoner exchange process had stalled. According to Medvedchuk, this is why he refused to participate in meetings of the Contact Group on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine. In his view, the Ukrainian authorities had no intention to implement previously reached agreements on the "all-for-all" prisoner exchange.

The "all-for-all" prisoner swap is one of the key features of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, singed in February 2015. The latest prisoner exchange took place on December 27, 2017. Kiev handed 233 prisoners to the Donbass republics and received 73 prisoners in return. Both parties stressed that the prisoner exchange process had not been completed and they were determined to do everything possible to continue it. However, the parties have so far been unable to reach new agreements on the issue.

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