LUGANSK, November 24 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Kiev has sent a letter to the Lugansk People’s Republic annulling the previous accords on opening new crossing points in Schastye and Zolotoye, LPR representative in the humanitarian subgroup, head of the Republic’s working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said after a Contact Group humanitarian subgroup video conference.
Kobtseva said that at the extraordinary video conference on November 19, humanitarians subgroup members “articulated certain conditions for the operation of crossing points and received certain consent from Ukraine.”
“Many technical issues have not been coordinated, but yesterday, ahead of the group’s session, a letter came from Ukraine saying that it had annulled everything that was agreed on (November) 19,” she said.
Earlier in the day, Kobtseva said that sabotage by Kiev prevented the accord on opening new checkpoints.
Ukraine’s statement alleging coordination at the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup video conference on November 19 of technical details for launching the crossing points in Schastye and Zolotoye was a lie, she said.
Unilateral launching of new checkpoints by Kiev poses a risk to people as Ukraine had not coordinated with the DPR the rules for crossing the neutral zone and put up a checkpoint on the road leading to the crossing point in the Schastye area, Kobtseva said.
Unilateral opening of the new crossing points on November 10 did not take place as Kiev “did not meet the commitments within the finalised road map.” Also, 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 starting November 10, she said.
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 was possible there thanks to temporary conduit, as the bridge had been blown up by Ukrainian forces in early 2015. Since Kiev repeatedly rejected the bridge rebuilding proposals from the LPR and the International Committee of the Red Cross, 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.
The 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.