Donetsk, Dec 9 - DAN. Ukraine has again dodged its commitment to drop criminal prosecution against the persons released in 2019-2020, while offering to hand over 24 detainees and pardon several people, the press service of the Donetsk People’s Republic delegation at the Minsk talks reported following a Contact Group session on Thursday.

“While dodging its commitment to drop criminal prosecution against former detainees to complete the prisoner exchanges of 2019 and 2020, Kiev has proposed to hand over 24 people and stated its readiness to sign acts of pardon for another 13,” the report said.

Donetsk is ready to take in all the people held illegally by Ukraine. There remain some questions:  why  President Vladimir Zelensky cannot as easily fulfil Kiev’s obligations for previous prisoner exchanges, why Ukraine avoids giving a list of persons it wants to hand over and whether Kiev is ready to drop criminal prosecution against the designated citizens without delay.

“Without a clear answer to these questions, such proposals can only be viewed as criminal speculation with fates of dozens of people in order to boost the rating of incumbent Ukrainian authorities,” the DPR delegation said.

Donbass and Ukraine last exchanged prisoners in April 2020. The DPR passed nine people to Ukraine and got ten. In 2019 and 2020, Ukraine handed over 71 people to the Republic, but ignored the procedure to drop criminal charges and stop criminal prosecution against 50 people it had set free, as the DPR repeatedly stated. *jk