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30 March 2021, 17:42

MILITARY&DEFENCE

Minsk-2

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Kiev prevents deployment of JCCC patrols between Zolotoye checkpoints - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, March 30 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Ukraine prevents the deployment of LPR representatives from the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) between the crossing points in the Zolotoye area, Lugansk People’s Republic representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva said at the press briefing at the Lugansk Media Centre following the subgroup’s video conference.

“Ukraine is categorically opposed to the presence of a patrol of the JCCC's LPR Office near the railway bridge during the operation of the (Pervomaisk-Zolotoye) crossing point,” Kobtseva said.

The Republic’s representative said that the distance between the LPR and Ukrainian crossing points in Zolotoye exceeded one kilometre, so the LPR insists on the presence of a JCCC patrol in the area, similar to the experience which the parties successfully use in the area of the bridge between the crossing points in Stanitsa Luganskaya. 

“There are different situations, and the one in the Zolotoye security area leaves much to be desired,” she said.

Kobtseva reminded that the LPR officers at the JCCC and OSCE monitors repeatedly record ceasefire violations in the Zolotoye area.

She explained that “unarmed JCCC patrols” at the railway bridge between the LPR and Ukrainian crossing points would monitor the ceasefire, and, if need be, provide assistance to civilians who cross the contact line.

“For some reasons, Ukraine has not questioned the presence of LPR officers from the JCCC in Stanitsa Luganskaya until today, while the presence of a JCCC patrol during the operation of the Pervomaisk-Zolotoye checkpoint is the stumbling block which prevents us from reaching the accord on the simultaneous opening of the crossing points,” Kobtseva said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kobtesva said that Ukraine had refused to provide round-the-clock security guarantees in the area of the Pervomaisk-Zolotoye crossing point which is due to be launched.

She said that Ukraine had deliberately sabotaged the opening of the new crossing points in the Schastye and Zolotoye areas.

LPR representative to the Minsk talks, the Republic’s Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego said that the decision on simultaneous opening of two new crossing points “Lugansk-Schastye” and “Pervomaisk-Zolotoye” would be postponed until Ukraine had provided an official confirmation of earlier accords in written form.

In March 2020, the LPR and Kiev agreed to set up two new crossing points on the contact line in the Schastye and Zolotoye areas; the works on the facilities were launched in July. Having failed to coordinate the key points of the crossing points’ operation, including security issues, Ukraine unilaterally opened them on November 10. The Republic called the move a provocation and a threat to the persons who cross the contact line and demanded that Kiev begin a dialogue to resolve the problems and launch full-fledged operation of the crossing points. 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 the vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya.

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 — 30 March — Lugansk