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MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic /LPR/ Is ready to exchange prisoners of war with the Kiev authorities in the format “all for all,” Vladislav Deinego, the LPR’s representative at the Contact Group talks and deputy speaker of the LPR parliament, told TASS on Monday.
“According to approximate estimates, they have about 700-800 our men. This information is being verified. The one-for-one exchange is out the question. We are ready to exchange all for all,” he said.
According to Deinego, the Kiev authorities made a number of attempts to exchange Ukrainian troops kept by the LPR for civilians. “They bring civilians. These 700-800 people might turn out to be not the ones we want to see but people seized from somewhere to be handed over for quantity,” he said.
He stressed that the exchange of prisoners of war must be one of the conditions for a truce with Kiev. “Our demands are silence and pullout of heavy artillery. And in this context, all conditions for fulfillment of liabilities are to be fixed. Criteria, conditions and liabilities are to be committed to paper so that it was not a mere declaration,” Deinego said.
On December 4, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko declared a “day of silence” in eastern Ukraine on December 9, when all combat operations are to be ceased. LPR and DPR /Donetsk People’s Republic/ said they had never violated the Minsk ceasefire agreements and took retaliatory measures only in response to the Ukrainian army’s actions.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at OSCE /Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe/-mediated talks on September 5 in Belarusian capital. On September 20 in Minsk, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5. The document contains nine points, including in particular a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibres of over 100 millimetres to a distance of 15 kilometres from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions. The document was signed by OSCE envoy Heidi Tagliavini, Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma, Russia’s Ambassador to Kiev Mikhail Zurabov, DPR Prime Minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko and the head of Lugansk People’s Republic /LPR/, Igor Plotnitsky.