Representative of Ukraine in the working group on political issues of the Trilateral Contact Group Roman Bezsmertny reported on the results of the TCG meeting in Minsk at a briefing.
Roman Bezsmertny commented the prospects for the peace process. "It’s hard work. It is not just "sat down in Minsk and something agreed." This is also work with the Parliament and the Ukrainian Government. But all this set by the President in the framework of his tasks. And everything that is being done in the Minsk process should take place exclusively in the format of bilateral movement, on the basis of reciprocity," he stressed.
"On July 17, an agreement was reached on the commencement of the procedure for the exchange of prisoners of war, illegally withheld, convicted persons in the ratio of 208 to 69, who are in the institutions of the Ukrainian penitentiary system," the representative of Ukraine said.
"The Ukrainian side was ready to begin this procedure yesterday and even today make an exchange," he said. At the same time, Russian officials did not agree to this. "It is agreed to carry out the procedure of "legal cleaning". People with different categories of "legal clearing" belong to these 208 and 69 persons. So it takes several days, and for someone - a few weeks or several months. But this procedure is running," Roman Bezsmertny said. He also specified that the requested persons have different legal status.
According to him, the decision on simultaneous liquidation of fortifications on the bridge and in the area of the bridge transition in Stanitsa Luganska, which should begin with the dismantling of the checkpoint of the illegal armed formation of ORLO region on the bridge, was made.
Representative of Ukraine in the working group on political issues of the TCG also explained why the agreements on the obligation to provide full and safe access to the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE have an expression "throughout Ukraine". It is about the fact that the Special Monitoring Mission has access, first of all, to the temporarily occupied part of Ukraine.
"OSCE SMM does not have access to all objects there. Therefore, we write "the whole Ukraine" and controlled by the Government of Ukraine, and temporarily occupied. This is what the concept "the whole Ukraine" is used for. That is also Ukraine, and citizens of Ukraine are living there. Today's challenge is to find a way to take of all parts of the entire Ukraine," he emphasized.
At the same time, Roman Bezsmertny noted that the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on simplified procedures for issuing passports to residents of Luhansk and Donetsk regions is an instrument of Russia's pressure.
"It is absolutely clear to me that this is an alternative option: the issuance of passports, a referendum and a clear result. That is a scheme that was used more than once. The latest example is Crimea. Obviously, this is an instrument of pressure that Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is always used, while Vladimir Putin is his leader. Therefore, in this case, we perceive this as an instrument of a certain pressure and an attempt to ruin the movement that we have started", Representative of Ukraine in the working group on political issues of the TCG said.