France and Germany welcome Ukraine prisoner exchange
Ukraine – Joint communiqué by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Ms Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, on the situation in eastern Ukraine
Paris, 28 December 2017
Following their joint communiqué on 23 December, the French President and the German Chancellor welcome today’s implementation of the agreement by the Trilateral Contact Group on the release of prisoners held on both sides of the contact line in eastern Ukraine.
More than 300 former prisoners have been exchanged; they will be reunited with their families and friends very soon. This is an important step forward, facilitated by work in the Normandy format (Germany, France, Russia, Ukraine) and by the work of the Humanitarian Working Group of the Trilateral Contact Group (OSCE, Russia, Ukraine).
President Macron and Chancellor Merkel continue encouraging the parties to facilitate the exchange of all remaining prisoners, allow the ICRC full access to all detainees, and facilitate searches of missing persons by the ICRC.
Now that the Trilateral Contact Group has extended a lasting and comprehensive ceasefire, today’s exchange should help strengthen trust between the parties, with a view to full implementation of the Minsk agreements./.