KIEV, December 28. /TASS/. Another prisoner exchange between Kiev and Donbass’ self-proclaimed republics may take place within the next two months, Ukraine’s deputy minister for internally displaced people and territories outside Kiev’s control, Yuri Grymchak, said on Wednesday.
"I think another prisoner exchange may be organized within a couple of months. We have such a hope," he said in an interview with the 112.Ukraina television channel.
Speaking about the format of the would-be swap, Grymchak noted that Kiev has information about 100 people kept in Donbass. "But we cannot confirm all of them. The key task is to find these people in the non-controlled territories," he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Kiev and the Donbass republics conducted a prisoner exchange, the biggest since the outbreak of the conflict. The swap took place at the contact line near Gorlovka. Kiev released 233 prisoners and the Donbass republics - 73.
Both sides stressed that overall prisoner exchange is not completely over at this stage and pledged to spare no effort to have all the prisoners return home in 2018. According to the human rights ombudswoman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Darya Morozova, at the next meeting of the Contact Group on January 18 DPR’s negotiators will insist Kiev release 76 more prisoners at the second stage. Earlier she told TASS Kiev had confirmed its keeping 58 people the DPR wanted to have back home.
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.