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Statement to the press
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16 January 2016

The SBU continues its activity of releasing hostages from the hands of terrorists – each of our nationals who got in such trouble. It is one of the priority tasks. 2998 individuals have been released by now. 131 persons are still being kept by force. Difficult negotiations about “all for all” exchange provided by the Minsk agreements are lasting.

The SBU established the Joint Coordination Center for search and rescue of persons unlawfully taken hostage and deprived of their human rights in the area of antiterrorist operation.

We want to double stress that only this Center on behalf of the Security service can negotiate on release and make statements since any extra word or undue emotion can cost human life.

We thank all the volunteers and public activists who have been helping us rescue hostages for a long time. We remain together with those who are really interested in this matter and sincerely provide help for the hostages’ families.

Together we carry on and believe that we will succeed and everyone without exception will be released. The result is achieved when each step is well-thought-out and people do not look for useless fame or benefit, when there is only one motivation – generous aid.

At the same time we call on those who unreasonably interfere with this delicate process under the guise of SBU not to play with people’s fates!

A national V.Ruban has recently been disseminating statements in which he claims that he is an SBU representative and had negotiated about the possible release of Ukrainian nationals in Minsk. He also states that he had discussed a possibility of their exchange for Russian soldiers there.

The Tripartite Liaison Group and four subgroups, where Ukraine is represented by authorized officials are currently working in Minsk.

Of course, Mr. Ruban could visit Minsk as a private individual, but he’s never participated in official meetings or negotiations.

A problem of release of Ukrainian citizens, who became political prisoners in the Russian Federation, including Nadiia Savchenko, Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, is under personal control of the President, it’s a matter of discussion at all international meetings.

Speculating at these issues, giving wrong and made-up information, is a lie to all society and relatives of captives.

The Security Service of Ukraine is ready for cooperation in search and release of citizens, who still remain on the occupied territories of Ukraine or at the Russian Federation, in a form of work of volunteers with the interagency center, but once again it is calling to refrain from speculation and untruth statements.



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