Prisoner exchange between Donbass and Kiev has become an important humanitarian event, director of the Center for Current Policy Alexey Chesnakov said on Sunday.
"Prisoner exchange is an important humanitarian event," Chesnakov wrote on his Telegram account. "However, it would be a mistake to think that it will facilitate the improvement of the situation on the ground and conflict resolution," TASS quoted him as saying.
The expert noted that Kiev now has an opportunity to change its current "language of confrontation" to "language of peace." "If [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky and his supporters will not do this, they will once again convincingly demonstrate their own inability to agree," Chesnakov said. "However, this is rather an issue of establishing and building trust," he added.
"When it comes to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements de jure and de facto, Kiev has not yet changed its position, as the Ukrainian side does not seek peaceful settlement," the expert said. "This should be taken into account when making forecasts for 2020," he concluded.
On December 29, Kiev and Donbass exchanged prisoners near the Gorlovka — Mayorskoye checkpoint. According to preliminary reports, Kiev handed over 124 people to Donbass, while Donbass handed over 76 people to Kiev.