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OSCE sees no progress in Donbass detainees exchange process

"Intensive discussions" on this issue have continued within the international subgroup for humanitarian affairs

MINSK, August 23. /TASS/. There has been no progress in detainees’ exchange at the meetings of the Contact Group on the Settlement in Eastern Ukraine, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Martin Sajdik said today after a regular Contact Group meeting in Minsk.

"This is a very complicated issue connected with people’s fates and here, of course, one should act in a highly responsible manner," he said. "I cannot name any progress here today, unfortunately."

"Intensive discussions" on this issue have continued within the subgroup for humanitarian affairs, he said. Sajdik also reported that the group’s head Toni Frisch informed the meeting participants on his visit of detention facilities in Mariupol, Makeyevka and Bakhovka where the detainees are being held.

After the first stage, when the identification procedure for the detainees had been completed, talks for the detainees’ exchange came to a halt again. On July 28, DPR Plenipotentiary Envoy at the talks Denis Pushilin reported that Kiev tried to remove already determined individuals from the exchange lists, including Berkut employees and Odessa residents who took part in the May 2 events. On July 31, the humanitarian subgroup held a video conference to thoroughly discuss the exchange lists once again. It also agreed that Frisch will examine the detention conditions.