19 November 2020, 22:21



Kiev lies about coordinating details of checkpoints operation - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, November 19 (Lugansk Media Centre) – Lugansk People’s Republic representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva has dismissed Ukraine’s statement alleging that the sides coordinated technical details of for launching the crossing points in Schastye and Zolotoye as a lie.

Kiev said following the video conference that “thanks to Kiev representatives’ firm position and cooperation of subgroup coordinator for the OSCE Toni Frisch, it was possible to coordinate new technical details” for unblocking the operation of the crossing points in the Schastye and Zolotoye areas".

“Ukraine’s statement that they coordinated all technical details during the video conference today is a brazen lie,” Kobtseva said.

During the video conference, Ukrainian representatives made phone calls to superiors trying to drag out the video conference while explaining that “they were coordinating various details,” she said.

“It was another proof that Ukraine was not ready for the video conference and dialogue with the Republics. In public, Ukraine makes declarative statements about active negotiations, but in actual fact, it’s called imitation,” Kobtseva said.

She said that the statements made by Ukrainian representatives “are at odds with the real picture and that the parties have failed to agree on launching the checkpoints because the Ukrainian representatives were not ready for the dialogue.”

“They have not worked through a single item of technical issues and actually derailed the operation of the crossing points again,” the LPR representative said.

Kiev officials at the Minsk talks said on Thursday that they were ready to take part in extraordinary sessions of the Contact Group subgroups on security, political and humanitarian issues. Ukraine suggested discussing the operation of the crossing points, prisoner swaps and mine clearance. However, LPR representative at the Minsk talks, LPR Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego said that Kiev had not sent any documents for discussion by the subgroups. Deinego said that although Kiev announced extraordinary meetings of three of the four Contact Group subgroups through the mass media it “de facto requested only two such meetings.”

Earlier, Kobtseva said that unilateral launching of new checkpoints by Kiev posed a risk to people as Ukraine had not coordinated with the LPR 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 that the 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.” She also said that 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 on November 10.

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. Kiev repeatedly rejected the bridge rebuilding proposals from the LPR and the International Committee of the Red Cross, and it was only possible to agree on the beginning of repairs at the Contact Group meeting in Minsk in July 2019. Pedestrian traffic through the repaired section resumed 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, 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.

LuganskMediaCentre — 19 November — Lugansk