Kiev is avoiding an answer to the question concerning the provision of security guarantees for launching the crossing points on the contact line in the Schastye and Zolotoye areas, Lugansk People’s Republic representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said at a press briefing at the Lugnask Media Centre.
“We’ve arrived at the same point in the matter of launching the crossing points, i.e. the provision of security guarantees,” Kobtseva said. (Ukrainian representative in the humanitarian subgroup Galina) “Mrs Tretyakova gave an evasive answer: ‘why do we need these security guarantees, let’s just open the crossing points.’ “It’s simply immoral of her.”
Earlier, she said that the LPR hoped that Ukraine would reconsider its position regarding the opening of the new crossing points on the contact line.
In March 2020, the LPR and Kiev reached an accord to launch two new crossing points in the Schastye and Zolotoye areas. The works to develop the facilities began in July. Having failed to coordinate with the LPR a number of key points in the crossing points operation, including security issues, Ukraine unilaterally opened them on November 10. The Republic called the move a provocation that threatened the life and health of persons who crossed the contact line and demanded that Kiev begin a dialogue to remedy the problems that stood in the way of full-fledged checkpoint operation. Currently there is only one official checkpoint on contact line in the LPR area of responsibility in Donbass and it is accessible via the bridge in the vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya.
LPR representatives repeatedly said that Kiev lied about confirming the security guarantees for opening the new checkpoints. Ukraine deliberately refuses to provide round-the-clock security guarantees in the area of the Pervomaisk-Zolotoye checkpoint and sabotages the opening of the new crossing points in the Schastye and Zolotoye areas. Ukraine cannot provide answers to the questions regarding the opening of the new checkpoints, so the decision on simultaneous opening of “Lugansk-Schastye” and “Pervomaisk-Zolotoye” is postponed until Ukraine has provided written confirmation of the earlier accords.
The Additional Measures to Strengthen the Ceasefire, agreed by the Contact Group members and effective since 00:01 July 27, 2020, ban offensive and commando operations, use of unmanned aerial vehicles, deployment of heavy armaments in or in proximity to residential areas etc. They envision punishment for violators and the use of the coordination mechanism to respond to ceasefire violations. Return fire is allowed in case of offensive, if the order is given by the leadership of Ukrainian forces or DPR and LPR People’s Militias after the unsuccessful attempt to use the coordination mechanism. The Contact Group shall be notified about such orders.
The Ukrainian government launched the so-called anti-terrorist operation against Donbass in April 2014. Conflict settlement relies on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarussian capital by the Contact Group members and coordinated by the Normandy Four heads of states (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine). The document provides for ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line.
The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. *i*s