DONETSK, December 29. /TASS/. Sunday’s exchange of detainees in Donbass was Kiev’s first step towards the implementation of the Minsk agreements, Foreign Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and DPR’s chief negotiator at the Contact Group Natalia Nikonorova said on Sunday.
"It was just the first step in Ukraine’s implementation of its commitments. Under the document agreed during the videoconference on December 23, the exchange will be considered completed only when Kiev implements certain provisions. Thus, Ukraine must provide all the documents asserting the completion of all procedures needed for the relief from criminal punishment of all persons subject to exchange," as follows from her statement released by the Donetsk News Agency.
"We are thankful to the leaders of the Minsk accords guarantor nations and the mediators in the negotiating process in the person of Russia and the OSCE for their serious contribution to the agreement of the terms and preparations for the exchange. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of this gleeful fact that the released persons will rejoin their families for the New Year holidays," Nikonorova stressed.
Kiev and the Donbass republics exchanged prisoners earlier on Sunday. The swap was carried put near the Mayorskoye checkpoint. According to preliminary data, Ukraine released 124 people and the Donbass republics handed over to Kiev 76 people.