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Kyiv seeks to ensure Red Cross access, swap of hostages in Donbas – Ukrainian FM

Kyiv seeks to ensure Red Cross access, swap of hostages in Donbas – Ukrainian FMMinister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin says Ukraine is ready to consider any proposal to facilitate swaps of hostages and ensure access for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to them as soon as possible.

"If we succeed at least in the near future to ensure that the ICRC, international humanitarian organisations have this humanitarian access, if we somehow manage to make talks on the swaps more productive… we'd say we are ready for any option to get our military, our heroes released from the occupied Donbas," Klimkin said after a meeting of the 'Normandy Four' foreign ministers in Minsk (Belarus) on Tuesday evening.

Verkhovna Rada First Deputy Chairperson and Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group Iryna Herashchenko said Ukraine is ready to reach a compromise on the captives, has made its proposals and insists on completing this process by the end of the year.

"Ukraine has made a proposal to the Normandy format that the humanitarian group be instructed to reach a compromise before Christmas and before the New Year's, make a decision on the date at the next session and free the hostages. We have made several concrete proposals on freeing them," Herashchenko said on Facebook on Tuesday evening.

"The process of freeing the hostages must be immediately unblocked, and Germany and France support this. But their liberation and the date of their liberation fully depends on Russia, whose representative once again failed to provide any concrete answers and is not ready for decisions on the key humanitarian issue," Herashchenko said.
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