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11 June 2020, 15:40

Minsk-2

Society

Kiev's position blocks humanitarian cargo transportation to LPR - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, June 11 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The delivery of humanitarian cargos by transport to the Lugansk People's Republic cannot be arranged because of Kiev's position, LPR representative to the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva said at a press briefing at the Lugansk Media Centre.

Earlier Kobtseva said that humanitarian missions had been hand-delivering relief supplies via the pedestrian bridge near Stanitsa Luganskaya because of Kiev’s stance.

“The delivery of humanitarian cargoes depends on the launching of the transport corridor in the Schastye town area,” she said. “Since Ukraine blocked the issue of simultaneous opening of the Schastye and Zolotoye crossing points, humanitarian cargoes can only come through Stanitsa Luganskaya.”

“The cargoes used to come through the DPR, but this option is currently unavailable due to the quarantine and COVID-19 restrictions. We have our commitments, there are also DPR government regulations and  LPR regulations which remain effective. Consequently, the route remains the same, i.e. via the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge,” the LPR representative said.

Previously, Kobtseva said that Ukraine had been blocking the launching of transport corridor for delivering humanitarian aid to the LPR.

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 has 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 army 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. Its width made up less than three metres, which is at odds with the agreement reached in Minsk; the bridge section design does not provide for ambulance service operation in emergencies. Ambulance service is needed due to a large incidence of people collapsing in queues and regular fatalities. The Stanitsa Luganskaya crossing point is currently closed as part of COVID-19 lockdown measures.

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