17 April 2018, 20:16



ICRC ready to mediate pension payment to Donbass residents if supported by parties to conflict

LUGANSK, April 17 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The International Committee of the Red Cross is ready to broker pension payment to Donbass residents on the condition of complete consent and support of all parties to the conflict in the region, ICRC officials told the Lugansk Media Centre.

Earlier, head of the “military civil administration of the Donetsk region” Pavel Zhebrivskiy said that “if the ICRC undertook the commitment to pay Ukrainian pensions to Donbass residents,” the Ukrainian government “would not object.”

“We understand that the issue of pension payment is a serious problem in eastern Ukraine having a number of social and humanitarian implications. Of course, it’s a challenge as it includes legal, political and practical aspects,” the ICRC said.

“For our part, we call for paying pensions to all Ukrainians entitled to retirement benefits.” “As a neutral and unbiased humanitarian organisation, we urge the parties to consider practical options to let people draw pensions in the areas not controlled by the government,” it said.

“As a neutral mediator, the ICRC is working on a number of humanitarian topics and issues on the condition of full consent and support of all parties to the conflict in Donbass. According to our purely humanitarian mandate, we’re ready to act in this capacity on pension payment,” an ICRC official said.

“This issue is the topic of our dialogue with all the interested parties, yet it’s premature to talk about the content of the dialogue or the format of ICRC involvement,” he added.

Earlier, acting LPR Foreign Minister, the Republic’s envoy to the Minsk talks Vladislav Deinego said that the ICRC was not a banking institution and that it was unlikely that it could handle pension payment to Donbass residents.

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 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.

LuganskMediaCentre — 17 April — Lugansk