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Statement by Natalia Nikonorova regarding the exchange of held persons

On December 29, at the checkpoint "Mayorsk" an exchange of held persons took place. It became the second major exchange in the history of Donbass conflict. Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics handed over to the Ukrainian side 76 people, representatives of Ukraine - 124 held persons to us.

At the same time, we draw attention to the fact that this is only the first step in implementing agreements undertaken by Ukraine. In accordance with the document agreed in the framework of video conference held on December 23, exchange will be considered fully completed only when Kiev fulfills certain requirements. In particular, Ukraine must provide all documents attesting to the full completion of all necessary procedures for exemption from criminal punishment for all persons subject to exchange.

We thank the leaders of guarantor countries of the Minsk Agreements, as well as meditators of the Russian Federation and the OSCE for providing significant assistance in agreeing on conditions and preparing for the exchange. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the joyful fact that the liberated persons will return to their relatives and dear ones and spend the New Year holidays together.