28 May 2020, 12:55


ICRC has to deliver cargoes to LPR via Stanitsa bridge due to Kiev’s position - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, May 28 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The International Committee of the Red Cross had to deliver a batch of relief supplies to the Lugansk People’s Republic via the pedestrian bridge in the Stanitsa Luganskaya area on Thursday because of Kiev’s position, LPR representative to the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the Republic’s working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said.

“Due to a lack of transport corridor accord with Ukraine, the humanitarian cargo was received on the bridge near Stanitsa Luganskaya on Thursday,” Kobtseva said.

Earlier, she said that Ukraine had blocked the efforts to agree a transport corridor for delivering humanitarian aid to the LPR.

Currently there is only one official checkpoint on the contact line in the Lugansk People’s Republic area of responsibility in Donbass and it is accessible via the bridge in vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya.  Until recently, only pedestrian traffic here was possible thanks to temporary conduit, as the bridge was blown up by Ukrainian forces in early 2015.

Kiev repeatedly rejected bridge restoration project proposals by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the LPR. It was only at the Contact Group meeting in Minsk on July 17, 2019 that the parties agreed on bridge repairs. Ukraine promised to repair the stretch blown up by Kiev forces in 2015 and the LPR had to carry out the rest of the repairs.

Kiev reopened pedestrian traffic along the restored section on November 20, 2019. The bridge width in the Ukrainian section amounted to less than three meters which is at odds with the accords reached at the Minsk talks. In emergency, this section cannot be used to full extent by ambulance service which is needed due to a large incidence of people collapsing in queues and regular fatalities.

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


LuganskMediaCentre — 28 May — Lugansk