Kobtseva: Kiev's one-sided steps on Zolotoye checkpoint and Stanitsa bridge provocative
LUGANSK, March 22 (Lugansk Media Centre) – Any unilateral attempt by Ukrainian to open the Zolotoye checkpoint are to be regarded as provocations, said LPR representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva.
"Any Kiev's attempt to launch the Zolotoye checkpoint unilaterally and to reconstruct the collapsed sections of the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge on their own are to be regarded as provocations," she said.
Kobtseva said that Ukrainian announcements on opening of the checkpoint and repair works are parts of ongoing election campaigns as presidential election is taking place on March 31.
"We are still eager to implement the Minsk Agreements, to reach agreements with authorized representatives of Ukraine."
Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian group of the Contact Group Irina Geraschenko said earlier on Friday, that Kiev plans to open the Zolotoye checkpoint on Sunday, March 24. Kiev's representative at the Contact Group Evgeniy Marchuk announced plans to begin repair works on the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge unilaterally. The statements were made during the meeting of the Minsk Platform informal parliamentary group of Ukraine's Rada.
On October 20, 2017, Ukraine made a provocative attempt to unilaterally open the Zolotoye crossing point despite the LPR’s objections.
LPR Foreign Minister representing the Republic at Minsk talks Vladislav Deinego later said that LPR's condition is that the two crossing points in Schastye and Zolotoye be opened simultaneously. “For Lugansk and much of the LPR territory, it is far more important to open the crossing point via the bridge in Schastye, in terms of logistics and capacity,” the diplomat said.
He reminded that the Zolotoye checkpoint may be opened only after the withdrawal of forces from the Stanitsa Luganskaya sector.
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 the vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya. Only pedestrian traffic there is possible as a temporary wooden ramp has been installed over the collapsed sections of the bridge. The bridge sustained damage after it had been blown up by Ukrainian forces on March 19, 2015. LPR has been continuously proposing to rebuild it.
LuganskMediaCentre — 22 March — Lugansk