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MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has handed over to the Ukrainian side 18 Ukrainians held prisoner in DPR, chief of the DPR justice ministry’s service for the execution of sentences, Alexei Ryazanov, said on Friday.
"The prisoners were handed over to the Ukrainian side. The process proceeded smoothly," he told the Donetsk News Agency.
He said the issue of Ukraine’s release of DPR prisoners had not been raised as of now.
The DPR authorities extradited 18 prisoners who had opted to serve their sentences in Ukraine. "Most of these people come from Western Ukraine and their relatives have no possibility to visit them in prison or to communicate with then by mail," acting Justice Minister Elena Radomskaya said.
Prisoner exchanges in the all-for-all format is one of the key provisions of the Package of Measures on the implementation of the Minsk agreements that was signed in the Belarusian capital Minsk on February 12 after marathon talks between the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.
Apart from that, the 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, in particular included an agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including establishment of working subgroups as priority tasks.