MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) does not hamper the process of prisoner exchange with the Ukrainian side and is prepared to carry out a prisoner swap immediately, LPR envoy to the Contact Group on Ukraine Vladislav Deynego told a press briefing at the LuganskInformTsentr news agency on Friday.
"We are ready to carry out a prisoner swap immediately," he said.
Deynego noted that recently the Ukrainian side had repeatedly accused the Luhansk and Donetsk republics of failing to comply with the provisions of the agreements reached in the Belarusian capital Minsk. "In particular, Kiev claims that we hamper the prisoner exchange process. The events of recent days have proved the complete absurdity of these allegations," he said.
The LPR envoy recalled that the two republics had offered another prisoner swap to the Ukrainian side. "To do this, we, demonstrating goodwill and a desire for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, have handed over [to the Ukrainian side] a list of ten Ukrainian combatants taken prisoner at different times," he said.
However, Kiev, using various tricks, avoids carrying out the swaps, Deynego noted.
According to him, the republic’s leaders realized that the captured Ukrainian servicemen had executed the orders of their commanders by "taking part in the war in Donbas unleashed by Kiev."
"There are no oligarchs among them, they are ordinary people," Deynego said. "These people deceived by the Kiev regime are not our enemies. Practically all of them have retired parents. I suspect that, if we held captive relatives of the current Ukrainian leaders, the prisoner swap issue would have long been resolved."
Deynego added that the Luhansk republic once again offered the Ukrainian authorities to carry out a prisoner exchange. "I take this opportunity to appeal to relatives of the Ukrainian combatants who are in our captivity. I state officially that it’s not our fault that your dear and near ones have not returned home yet," he said.