Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian issued the following joint statement today (16 April) on the exchange of prisoners in eastern Ukraine:
Today’s exchange of prisoners in eastern Ukraine is an important step towards implementing the Minsk agreements and the conclusions of the Normandy summit of 9 December 2019 in Paris. Germany and France welcome the efforts of the Trilateral Contact Group under OSCE Special Representative Heidi Grau, which have made a major contribution to bringing about this Exchange.
Germany and France continue to be committed to ensuring that the agreements of the summit of 9 December be implemented to the letter, especially with a view to upholding the agreed ceasefire, as well as demining and the creation of new crossing points and new disengagement zones. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission must, in accordance with its mandate, be afforded unrestricted and secure access throughout the territory of Ukraine, including territories not under government control.