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Official: Kiev ready to give and take on prisoner swap

September 14, 17:21 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, September 14. /TASS/. Ukraine is ready to compromise on a prisoner exchange with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics (DPR, LPR), Irina Gerashchenko, Kiev’s envoy to the humanitarian subgroup of the Contact Group on the settlement in Donbass and First Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, said on Wednesday.

"We are willing to make certain compromises for the sake of freeing hostages in Donbass," she told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.

According to Gerashchenko, there are 112 prisoners on the territories that are not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. "We use only verified information from Ukraine’s Security Service. To date, 112 people are being held hostage," she noted.

In late August, Darya Olifer, spokesperson for Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine’s envoy to the Minsk talks, stated that Kiev is ready for "serious compromises" in the talks on exchanging prisoners. At that time, she was talking about 107 detainees from the Ukrainian side. "Ukraine is ready to reach serious compromises to ensure that 107 people are able to return to their nearest and dearest," she wrote on Facebook.

Yuri Tandit, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian Security Service, said earlier on Wednesday that a prisoner exchange will top the agenda of the Contact Group meeting in Minsk on September 21, adding that Kiev is interested in releasing all Ukrainian military service members.

DPR’s envoy to the Contact Group talks, Denis Pushilin, earlier said that Kiev, which holds far more prisoners than the self-proclaimed Donbass republics, refuses to carry out a swap on an "all-for-all" basis as required by the Minsk agreements. According to the DPR, more than 600 people remain in captivity in Ukraine. Pushilin noted that to fully solve the problem of a prisoner release in Donbass, Kiev should pass an amnesty law as stipulated in the Minsk agreements.

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