Press release

UK welcomes important prisoner exchange in the conflict in eastern Ukraine

Ukraine and the Russian-backed separatists in the east have exchanged over 300 prisoners.

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The prisoner exchange between Ukraine and the Russian-backed separatist is an important development, and is a welcome step towards meeting the commitments all sides have made under the Minsk Agreements.

An FCO spokesperson said:

The UK welcomes the exchange of over 300 prisoners between Ukraine and the Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The release of prisoners is a commitment which Ukraine, Russia and the Russian-backed separatists signed up to as part of the Minsk Agreements to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

We hope that all sides use this positive development to make progress on their remaining commitments under the Minsk Agreements, beginning with all sides adhering to the ceasefire; engaging cooperatively to reduce the humanitarian suffering of civilians on both sides of the line of contact; and Russia withdrawing its weapons and personnel from eastern Ukraine.

The UK is grateful to all those who mediated this agreement, including the Trilateral Contact Group, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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Published 27 December 2017