11 June 2020, 16:07



Kiev manipulates commitments on launching new crossing points - Kobtseva

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Lugansk, June 11 (Lugansk Media Centre) Ukraine is manipulating its commitments on opening new crossing points in the Zolotoye and Schastye areas, the Lugansk People’s Republic representative to the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said at a press briefing at the Lugansk Media Centre.

Kobtseva said that Ukraine, at the humanitarian subgroup talks via video conference, presented a roadmap on simultaneous launching of the Schastye and Zolotoye crossing points.

“For its part, the LPR designated the works it had to carry out within the roadmap and the timeframes, but safety is essential for fulfilling all the obligations. Regrettably, Ukraine has not provided safety procedures up to date,” Kobtseva said.

“They (Ukrainian representatives - eds Lugansk Media Centre) interpret the simultaneous launching of the Schastye and Zolotoye crossing points as follows:  We provided security guarantees in the Zolotoye area, you have to win our confidence, show that you’ve begun working and then we’ll talk about Schastye opening,” she said. 

“So we understand what’s going on: it’s double talk and manipulation of commitments,” the LPR representative said. 

Earlier, LPR representative to the Minsk talks, the Republic’s Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego stated that Kiev continued to put the brakes on the opening of the new crossing points in Zolotoye and Schastye.

The LPR repeatedly said that opening a crossing point in Zolotoye was not possible without settling the security issue, namely the presence of Ukrainian army hardware in the area which is a gross violation of the framework agreement on the disengagement of forces and hardware signed by Ukraine.

Currently there is only one official checkpoint at the line of contact in LPR area of responsibility in Donbass and it is accessible via the bridge in vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya. Until recently, only pedestrian traffic here had been possible thanks to temporary conduit, as the bridge was 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 on July 17, 2019. Ukraine pledged to repair the bridge span blown up by Ukrainian units in 2015, while the LPR promised to restore the remaining part of the bridge. Kiev launched pedestrian traffic along the repaired section on November 20, 2019.

In September 2017, the LPR representatives in the working group on humanitarian issues offered Ukraine to open a crossing point in Schastye area. Later on, Deinego said that the OSCE coordinators had praised the LPR proposal.

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 — 11 June — Lugansk