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16 February 2021, 16:22

Minsk-2

Kiev is not ready to allow humanitarian aid via Schastye checkpoint - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, February 16 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Ukrainian representatives at the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup video conference on Tuesday did not confirm readiness for relief supplies delivery to the Republic through the Lugansk-Schastye checkpoint, Lugansk People’s Republic representative in the subgroup on humanitarian issues, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said.

“We suggested a compromise to time the passage of humanitarian cargo through the Lugansk-Schastye checkpoint with the simultaneous opening of two crossing points, Lugansk-Schastye and Pervomaisk-Zolotoye. As of now however, Ukraine is not ready to confirm readiness for letting humanitarian aid convoys enter the LPR through the Lugansk-Schastye checkpoint," Kobtseva 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. Due to constant sabotage by Kiev, bridge repairs could only be carried out in 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.

The vehicle checkpoints in the Schastye and Zolotoye areas, which had to be launched per decision by the Contact Group, do not operate because Kiev refuses to finalise with the LPR a number of key points in checkpoint functioning including security issues. In addition to causing much inconvenience to local residents, this prevents the direct delivery of international 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.

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 — 16 February — Lugansk