"The mechanism of 'all-for-all' [exchange], which has been included in the Minsk protocol — does not work. It does not work, because Ukraine's President [Petro Poroshenko] and his authorities are helpless in the issue and artificially protract the Minsk process," Alexander Zakharchenko told reporters.
He added that on Tuesday, the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass had transferred two female prisoners to Kiev as a gesture of goodwill on a unilateral basis, and expressed hope that Ukraine would fulfill its promises and return 15 people to Donbass before the New Year.
"We are ready to accept everyone, they will give. At the same time our gesture of goodwill shows that we are interested to return our people back like no one else. And the 'all-for-all' mechanism should be implemented rigorously. We are ready to communicate with any conscious people, who understand that it is very important. We are open for a dialogue," Zakharchenko added.
In February 2015, a peace agreement was signed between Ukraine’s conflicting sides in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Prisoner exchange on an "all-for-all" basis is one of the key provisions of the accord.