Minsk contact group fails to agree prisoner exchange
A new cease-fire announced is effective as of 30 April.
The trilateral contact group on a Donbas settlement at its Friday meeting failed to reach a deal on prisoner exchange, OSCE representative Martin Saydik told reporters.
At the same time, the sides agreed on a complete cease-fire from midnight 30 April, and the opening of the checkpoint in Stanytsya Luhanska on the same day. The pedestrian checkpoint was previously opened and closed in a short while due to shelling.
The representative of Russia at the talks, Boris Gryzlov, said as quoted by TASS that the main precondition for holding elections in Donbas would be the cancellation of the antiterrorist operation by Ukraine.
At the meeting of the trilateral contact group on 20 April, the OSCE, the Russian Federation and separatists favoured Ukraine’s initiative on the exchange of prisoners in the 25 for 50 format (25 Ukrainians held by Donetsk separatists for 50 separatists detained in Ukraine) on Easter. However, the Donetsk separatists have kept blocking the exchange of prisoners on various pretexts.