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Ukrainian Defense Ministry says prisoner swap possible not sooner than Saturday

December 26, 2014, 15:01 UTC+3 KIEV

Commissioner for Human Rights of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said the prisoner swap would take place Friday evening

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© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

KIEV, December 26. /TASS/. The exchange of prisoners from both parties of the Ukraine conflict is possible not earlier than December 17, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry adviser, Vasily Budik, said on Friday.

“The exchange is likely to be held on Saturday,” Budik said without mentioning the reason.

Commissioner for Human Rights of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Darya Morozova, said the republic and the Ukrainian authorities would exchange prisoners on a “225 for 150” basis on Friday evening.

“Prisoners will be exchanged by the formula: 225 Donetsk people for 150 Ukrainians,” she said.

“In compliance with our lists, Kiev will exchange only 55 people. We don’t know who the rest of 175 prisoners are,” Morozova said.

On December 25, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko said the participants in the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine had reached agreement on the prisoner swap.

“The Minsk talks continue, but it is early to talk about any agreements. The only thing I can say that we succeeded in reaching agreement on the exchange of prisoners on the ‘all for all’ basis - 150 for 225,” he said.

The prisoner exchange became one of the key issues of the Contact Group agreements reached in Minsk on September 5. Since September 12 the parties have exchanged several hundreds of prisoners.

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