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Kiev ready for '228 for 42' swap of prisoners by New Year — official

December 07, 2016, 19:33 UTC+3
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MINSK, December 7. /TASS/. Kiev is prepared to arrange for exchanging 228 military personnel of the two self-proclaimed republics in the southeast of the country for 42 army servicemen held in Donbass, Kiev’s representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Contact Group, Irina Gerashchenko, said after the Contact Group’s meeting on Wednesday.

"We put forward a proposal for instantly releasing 228 people (provided the legislation and legal space permits) which they (Donetsk and Lugansk republics - TASS) mentioned in their requests for the sake of the prompt release of 42 Ukrainians," Gerashchenko wrote on her Facebook page. "Then will go on working in order to establish the whereabouts and secure the release of all others."

Gerashchenko said that Donetsk and Lugansk were prepared to free only eight persons, adding that negotiations would continue.

At the end of September, after another meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk it was stated that the parties had agreed to conduct an "all-for-all exchange." The Donbass republics were ready to release to Kiev 47 prisoners hoping to get back 618 of their supporters. This exchange has not taken place yet.

The exchange of all prisoners of war for all between the conflicting parties is one of the main items on the package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk Accords.

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