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Ombudsman: Donetsk republic prepares for prisoner swap with Ukraine

January 06, 2016, 17:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Republic’s ombudsman did not specify the date and the format of the planned prisoner exchange

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MOSCOW, January 6. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic is preparing for a prisoner swap with Ukraine due shortly, republic’s ombudsman Darya Morozova said on Wednesday.

"In spite of all, we are preparing a prisoner swap, expected shortly," the Donetsk News Agency quoted her as saying. She did not specify the date and the format of the planned prisoner exchange, confirming that unlike the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, the DPR was not planning a unilateral gesture of good will to release Ukrainian prisoners.

"We would be glad to make this gesture of goodwill ahead of Christmas, but we won’t," she said citing "strong reasons". "I would like to note that within the past year we all in all returned 65 people on similar holidays, but we saw no response from Ukraine," she noted.

Earlier on Wednesday, LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky said he had given instructions to release Ukrainian military held prisoner in the republic ahead of Christmas.

Adviser to the chief of the Ukrainian Security Service, Yuri Tandit, said for his part that the Ukrainian side was ready to hand prisoners over to Donbass militias within several hours. He said the Ukrainian authorities knew about 57 military taken prisoner by militias in the LPR.

The LPR envoy at the Contact Grout resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Vladislav Deinego, said the two self-proclaimed republics had handed over to Kiev the lists with the names of more than 2,000 people believed to be held by the Ukrainian side.

The "all for all" prisoner swap is one of the key points in the Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements, signed in Minsk on February 12.

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