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Contact group on Donbas to discuss exchange of prisoners

Ukraine seeks exchange by the "306 to 74" formula.

Contact group on Donbas to discuss exchange of prisoners
Photo: Photo: facebook / Iryna Herashchenko

The next meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in Donbas to be held in Minsk on 29 November will discuss an exchange of prisoners, Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup, Iryna Herashchenko, told reporters on Friday.

According to Herashchenko, 162 Ukrainian citizens are held by Donbas militants.

"These are civilians and military, men and women, among them there is a journalist, three volunteers. These are the people whose relatives turned to the Security Service of Ukraine," she said.

Ukraine knows the whereabouts of 94 hostages, but the exchange proposal does not include all of them. Another representative of Ukraine in this subgroup, Viktor Medvedchuk, said on Thursday that the exchange of 306 to 74 would be discussed.

"Very serious work involving all services is in progress, and we deeply hope that positive news will be available before the end of the year. We will have a very important meeting of the humanitarian group in Minsk on 29 November. The Ukrainian side will take every effort for a specific date for the release [of hostages] to be agreed," Herashchenko said.

The exchange of prisoners has been stalled for more than a year now. In mid-November, information was leaked to the media that the parties were now discussing an exchange by the "306 by 74" formula.

This issue, in particular, was discussed by Medvedchuk and Putin.

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