Kiev hasn’t let humanitarian aid come to LPR through Schastye checkpoint - Kobtseva

Minsk-2  Military&Defence  Society 

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LUGANSK, November 17 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Ukraine has not allowed relief supplies from an international mission to come to the Lugansk People’s Republic through the Lugansk-Schastye crossing point, LPR representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the Republic’s working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said.

“As the Republic’s representative in the humanitarian group, I can report the fact of denial of access to an international organisation’s humanitarian cargo which was supposed to enter the LPR today through the Schastye-Lugansk checkpoint under the accords. These humanitarian supplies come through Donetsk as Ukraine had not bothered to meet the commitments agreed in March and July and let the humanitarian aid convoy into our territory,” Kobtseva told Vesti Plus Lugansk radio.

This fact shows “the mendacity of Mr Zelensky’s statement about the crossing points being open,” she said.

Previously, Kobtseva said that Ukraine had been blocking the launching of transport corridor for delivering humanitarian aid to the LPR.

She said that the simultaneous opening of the new crossing points in Schastye and Zolotoye on November 10 did not take place as Kiev “did not meet the commitments within the finalised road map.” Unilateral launching of new checkpoints by Kiev poses a risk to people as Ukraine had not coordinated with the LPR the rules for crossing the neutral zone; on top of that it put up a checkpoint on the road leading to the crossing point in the Schastye area. Kobtseva also said that the headquarters of the so-called “Joint Forces Operation” had disseminated false information alleging that all all crossing points on the contact line would resume operation on November 10.

Currently there is only one official checkpoint at the line of contact in LPR area of responsibility in Donbass and it is accessible via the bridge in vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya. Only pedestrian traffic was possible there 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 regions 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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