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In Minsk A Lot Could Be Achieved With Political Will - OSCE Participant In The Minsk Negotiations
26 August, 2016
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What You Need To Know: 

✅ Four working groups are holding a meeting in Minsk on Friday August 26th. They are discussing security, politics, economic issues, and humanitarian issues;

✅ Representatives from the OSCE, Ukraine and Russia are there;

✅ The main issues are: detainees, missing persons, humanitarian aid for local citizens and also crossing the contact line and the question of children from the Donbas now residing in Ukraine;

✅ Toni Frisch is the OSCE Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator at the Minsk negotiations. His main task is to rescue illegally imprisoned people in Russia.

On August 26, four working groups are holding a meeting in Minsk. They are discussing security, politics, economic issues and humanitarian questions. Among them are issues surrounding detainees, missing persons, humanitarian aid for local citizens, crossing the contact line, and the question of children from the Donbas now residing in Ukraine.

“These issues are classic for us. It is obvious that, for instance, the question of detainees, missing persons are among the most burning questions,” says Mr. Frisch.

Representatives from the OSCE, Ukraine and Russia are there to find solutions for these critical issues.

According to the Ukrainian authorities, 107 people are now detained in Russia. At the same time, representatives from the so-called “LNR” and “DNR” say that there are only 45 people.
“We are discussing that practically on every occasion. The aim is that finally all these detainees from both sides, from all involved parties are free, are released,” Frisch said, who works directly on these issues.

What exactly is going on during the meetings in Minsk? Trustworthy information is scarce. Those who are involved in the process say that full disclosure could hinder the talks. OSCE representatives insist on confidentiality, so they try to be reserved in their judgments.

Toni Frisch, OSCE Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator at the Minsk negotiations, spoke with Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk and answered questions as to why it took so long for prisoner swaps to occur, what the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk is like, current detainees in Crimea, and which issues are now most critical. Mr. Frisch said he was reserved in judgments.