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PACE representatives welcome Ukraine prisoner exchange

The co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Ukraine, Dzhema Grozdanova (Bulgaria, EPP/CD) and Alfred Heer, (Switzerland, ALDE) together with Dame Cheryl Gillan (United Kingdom, EC/DA), Chairperson of PACE’s Political Affairs Committee, warmly welcomed the prisoner exchange between the Ukrainian authorities and the pro-Russian separatist forces in the self-proclaimed “republics” in Ukraine’s Donbass regiontaking place ahead of the Orthodox Easter.

“This prisoner exchange, which comes several months after the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, which we also warmly welcomed, is another important step towards the implementation of the Minsk agreements which could help increase trust and genuine co-operation between all parties in this conflict,” said the two co-rapporteurs.

“The prisoner exchange opens a window of opportunity to put an end to the conflict in the East of Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk Agreements,” added Dame Cheryl Gillan.

Ms Grozdanava, Dame Cheryl Gillan and Mr Heer therefore urged all signatories of the Minsk agreements to use this positive development as a catalyst for making genuine progress in implementing the Minsk agreements. “We will closely follow these developments in the ongoing work of our respective committees. Together we stand ready to be of assistance in this process in any way we can,” they said.