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7 November 2017, 16:35

MILITARY&DEFENCE

Minsk-2

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Kiev refuses to restore Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge, wary of LPR tanks - Deinego

LUGANSK, November 7 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Ukrainian representatives at the Contact Group talks in Minsk on 27 October said they were not willing to implement the International Committee of the Red Cross-proposed project to restore the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge due to the apprehensions that LPR tanks might use it for crossing.

“Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge restoration issues were discussed (at the meeting in Minsk),” said LPR envoy to Minsk talks, the Republic’s acting Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego at the Council of Ministers meeting attended by LPR head Igor Plotnitskiy on Tuesday. “The representative of the 2nd-3rd tier of negotiators (from Ukraine) voiced strong objections to the ICRC-proposed project again.”

“They (Ukrainian side) fear that the 3-meter wide bridge can be used by our talks for crossing and insist that the bridge should be built to the specifications to prevent the passage of tanks; however, a tank has a width of 3.45 meters,” Deinego said.

Earlier, Deinego stated that Ukraine had taken an unproductive position as it demanded that the ICRC rework the project to restore the bridge which had been ruined by Ukrainian forces.

LPR representative in the humanitarian subgroup, head of the LPR working group for prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said that Kiev, in the course of the humanitarian subgroup meeting, had again showed its unwillingness to restore the Stanitsa bridge.

After the meetings of the Contact Group and its subgroups on 4 October, Deinego said that Kiev blocked the ICRC from participating in Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge restoration. He noted that the ICRC was ready to provide assistance in funding bridge restoration works and had already coordinated the repair project with LPR, but had been unable to secure Ukrainian representatives’ approval.

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. Only pedestrian traffic here is possible thanks to temporary conduit, as the bridge was blown up by Ukrainian forces. LPR has been continuously proposing to rebuild it.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on 12 February 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by its 2202 Resolution 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 — 07 November — Lugansk