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Kiev's Amnesty Law Violates Minsk Agreements, Prevents Detainees Exchange

© Sputnik / STR / Go to the photo bankLach Gates on Independence Square in Kiev.
Lach Gates on Independence Square in Kiev. - Sputnik International
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According to Russian Envoy to the Contact Group on Ukraine Boris Gryzlov, Kiev amnesty law undermines the Minsk agreements.

MINSK (Sputnik) — The amnesty law introduced by Kiev violates the Minsk agreements, as it applies only to Ukrainian army troops that took part in the military conflict in Donbass and is a serious obstacle to the "all for all" detainees exchange, Russian Envoy to the Contact Group on Ukraine Boris Gryzlov said Wednesday.

"In violation of the Minsk agreements, Kiev enacted an amnesty law, which will affect only the participants of the so-called 'ATO' ['anti-terrorist operation', a term commonly used by Kiev for the operation]. However, this law does not apply to any of the participants in the conflict from Donetsk and Luhansk, that is, it is one-sided… The lack of an active amnesty for all participants in the conflict in Donbas is a serious obstacle to the complete exchange of the detained persons on the all for all principle," Gryzlov said.

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The law "On Amnesty in 2016," according to which Ukrainian military members participating in the operation in Donbas that have not committed serious crimes will be released, has been published by the official press and will come into force on September 7. According to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yurii Lutsenko, the amnesty may be applied to about 1,700 soldiers.

Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of what was considered by many as a coup. In February 2015, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire after the talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine – the so-called Normandy Format – in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

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