LPR People’s Militia to ensure people’s safety if Schastye crossing point is opened

Minsk-2  Military&Defence 

LUGANSK, September 26 (Lugansk Media Centre) - LPR People’s Militia is ready to ensure people’s safety if the crossing point is opened on the contact line in Schastye area, LPR People’s Militia spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrey Marochko told a news briefing at Lugansk Media Centre.

LPR representative in the working group on humanitarian issues Olga Koptseva said that LPR had offered Ukraine to open a crossing point in Schastye area. LPR envoy to Minsk talks, the Republic’s acting Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego said OSCE coordinators had praised the proposal. 

“LPR People’s Militia carried out engineer terrain intelligence a year ago, the road towards the Schastye bridge had been fully cleared of mines, unexploded ordnance and the concrete blocks restricting traffic,” Marochko said.

“De-mining and cleaning involved OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine which ensured control by patrolling both sides. The road was repeatedly used for handing over the bodies of dead Ukrainian servicemen and payments for the water supplied from Ukraine. The bridge controlled by Ukraine remains a problem as it flatly refused to demine it which the Special Monitoring Mission noted in its reports,” the spokesman added.

 “If a decision is made to open a crossing point in the area, we are always ready to ensure security there,” he said.

 “The situation has been relatively calm on this axis in the past two weeks; no strikes by Ukrainian forces have been recorded. No shelling has been recorded in daytime over the past six months apparently due to the operation of OSCE SMM patrols on this stretch as they daily monitor Ukrainian army units from Oboznoye settlement,” Marochko said.

 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 here is possible thanks to temporary conduit, as the bridge was blown up by Ukrainian forces. LPR has been continuously proposing to rebuild it. 

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on 12 February 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by its 2202 Resolution and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures. 

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.

 To facilitate the work of the Contact Group, four working groups were set up under its aegis to deal with issues of security, politics, return of internally displaced people and refuges, as well as with social, humanitarian, economic and rehabilitation issues.

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