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Seven prisoners have been handed over to the Ukrainian side, while Kiev has set free eight militias, a ministry representative said.
Earlier, the website of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc party also confirmed the swap. It took place at a Ukrainian border check point near the settlement of Shchastye north of Lugansk, LNR’s defense ministry said.Prisoner exchange is one of the key points in agreements reached at a Minsk, Belarus, meeting of the international Contact Group on settling the Ukraine conflict.
Five exchanges have taken place so far in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, swapping prisoners at the rate of 37 for 37, 70 for 70, 38 for 38, 28 for 28 and 30 Ukrainian law enforcers for 60 militia personnel.
The previous prisoner exchange in the LNR took place on October 14 at the rate of 13 militia personnel for 14 Ukrainian law enforcers.
Earlier, prisoner swaps were suspended after the militias claimed the Ukrainian side was handing over civilians giving them out as militias.
According to the UN data as of October 15, the death toll from the armed conflict between government forces and self-defense militias in eastern Ukraine has reached 3,707. UN officials also said the Minsk agreements on the promotion of Ukraine’s peace process are effective, but the peace process is fragile.
On September 20, the Contact Group on Ukraine, which met in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk, adopted a memorandum on ceasefire regime. The document has nine provisions, including a ban of the use of all types of weapons and both parties’ withdrawal of heavy weapons with a caliber of more than 100 mm at a distance of 15 kilometres from the line of contact. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is to control the observance of the ceasefire regime. The previous Contact Group meeting in Minsk on September 5 yielded a protocol on peace settlement in southeastern Ukraine. The key provisions were agreements on ceasefire and exchange of prisoners of war.