MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. The final number of prisoners to be exchanged between Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) will be announced after the lists are verified, a source close to the Minsk negotiating process told TASS on Monday.
"The lists are currently being verified. The sides want to check the lists of persons to be released and exchanged. This work is being done by the humanitarian subgroup [of the Contact Group on the settlement of situation in eastern Ukraine]," the source said. "The process is to be over very soon."
Earlier on Monday, the Contact Group had held a video conference to agree the terms of the release and exchange of held persons by the end of the year. Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk managed to coordinate via Russian and OSCE brokers the necessary conditions for the release and exchange of held persons by the end of this year. Moreover, according to Russia’s chief negotiator in the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov, Kiev "has undertook to complete the pardoning procedure and stop prosecuting those it releases."
A Normandy Four summit crisis was held in Paris on December 6, for the first time after a three-year break. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Emmanuel Macron of Germany, Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine and German Chancellor Angela Merkel gathered in the Elysee Palace to discuss ways of settling the conflict in Donbass.
The seven-hour talks yielded a final document committing to paper a number of concrete accords. Among the summit’s most expected results was an agreement to exchange prisoners-of-war in Donbass under the formula of "all identified for all identified" by the yearend and to disengage forces at three more sections of the contact line by March 2020.
However, the Contact Group that met in Minsk on December 18 failed to reach an agreement on concrete measures on the implementation of the summit’s document.