Kiev fails to confirm it equips crossing point in Schastye - Kobtseva

Minsk-2  Society 

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LUGANSK, October 13 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Kiev refuses to provide information confirming that it equips crossing point on the contact line in the Schastye settlement area, Lugansk People’s Republic representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva told the Lugansk Media Centre.

“Up to date, Ukraine has neither provided facts nor confirmed that they’re building infrastructure at the Lugansk-Schastye crossing point,” Kobtseva said.  “At Zolotoye, they have the infrastructure ready; they are carrying out repairs in the “grey zone” on their side.”

She reminded that Kiev and the LPR had earlier agreed on simultaneous launching of the Lugansk-Schastye and Pervomaisk-Zolotoye crossing points. Due to Kiev’s position however, there is no certainty that it is preparing to open the crossing point in the Schastye area.

“Ukraine avoids providing information on the crossing point infrastructure in the Schastye area,” she said.

Earlier, LPR Prime Minister Sergey Kozlov inspected the construction of the crossing point on the contact line in the Schastye area.

The LPR began works to equip crossing points on the contact line in the Schastye and Zolotoye areas under the accords reached at the Minsk talks on July 11.

The Republic suggested opening the crossing point in the Schastye area back in 2017. The OSCE praised the initiative, but until recently Ukraine has been manipulating its commitments on opening the new crossing point in the Schastye and Zolotoye areas and slowed down the preparations towards opening them.

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 vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya. Only pedestrian traffic there was possible thanks to temporary conduit, as the bridge had been blown up by Ukrainian forces in early 2015. Kiev repeatedly rejected the bridge rebuilding proposals from the LPR and the International Committee of the Red Cross, and it was only possible to agree on the beginning of repairs at the Contact Group meeting in Minsk in July 2019. Pedestrian traffic along the repaired section began on November 20, 2019, but the traffic of motor vehicles including ambulances is not possible because Kiev made the section much narrower in violation of the accords reached in Minsk.

There are no checkpoints for cars on the contact line in the Lugansk region because of Kiev’s position. In addition to causing much inconvenience to residents of the region, it prevents the delivery of humanitarian cargos to the Republic by motor transport.

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 UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution No 2202 of February 17, 2015 and called upon the parties to ensure its implementation.

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.

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