According to German MFA, before his departure to Kyiv, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel stated that the eastern Ukraine conflict is not a frozen one, but looks fire-dangerous.
“Since the signing of the Minsk agreements we had witnessed the months of violence in the east of Ukraine last year. Many shots are still being recorded in the Donbas. The region still has a lot of heavy weapons,” He noted.
According to Gabriel, the recent exchange of hundreds of prisoners and arrangements for a Christmas truce have become encouraging signals.
"It is necessary to continue in this direction. Therefore, I'm flying to Kyiv, and tomorrow to Mariupol, in order to show people in Ukraine: we are not leaving them to their fate. For us, this conflict is neither frozen nor forgotten, on the contrary, it is very relevant and fire-dangerous. We will continue to do everything in order to find a solution to this crisis that would finally bring peace to this region,” Head of the German Foreign Ministry stated.
December 27, the hostage exchange in the Donbas took place. This was the first and the most extensive exchange in two years.
According to the SBU, 73 hostages returned to the controlled territory of Ukraine. Of these, 16 Ukrainians were held captive by militants of the terrorist group "LPR", and 57 were hostages in the occupied territory of the Donetsk region.
Ukraine transferred 233 people to the occupied territory.
The plane with the Ukrainians liberated from the captivity of the ORDLO militants arrived at the airport "Boryspil" on December 28, at approximately 00:25. At the airport they were met by hundreds of people.
In turn, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko promised to release the remaining prisoners as soon as possible.