Donetsk, Dec 25 - DAN. DPR authorities expressed the hope that Kiev would meet its commitments on prisoner exchange and that it would take place on 27 December, DPR envoy to Minsk talks Denis Pushilin told Donetsk News Agency.

“I sincerely hope that Ukraine would honour the commitments it has undertaken and that the long-expected prisoner exchange will take place on 27 December,” Pushilin said. “At long last, the people will be released to return home, to their families.”

The prisoner exchange accord between DPR, LPR and Ukraine was reached in Moscow earlier on Monday at a meeting between DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko, acting LPR head Leonid Pasechnik, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia and leader of the Ukrainian Choice - People’s Right movement Viktor Medvedchuk.

Ukraine and the Donbass republics last exchanged prisoners in autumn 2016. The parties have been unable to carry out new exchanges since as Ukraine delayed the process creating obstacles and inventing pretexts. Some headway was made in mid-November. DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The parties discussed the prisoner exchange initiative put forward by Ukrainian Choice - People’s Right movement leader Viktor Medvedchuk. DPR authorities later said they were ready for prisoner exchange by the end of this year. *jk