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27 November 2018, 18:22

MILITARY&DEFENCE

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LPR Foreign Ministry cautions residents against trips to Ukraine during martial law

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LUGANSK, November 27 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Lugansk People’s Republic envoy to the Minsk talks, acting Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego called upon LPR residents to refrain from trips to Ukraine during the operation of martial law. He spoke at a press briefing at the Lugansk Media Centre on Tuesday.

Two Ukrainian armoured boats and a tow ship left Odessa in the morning of November 25 and tried to enter the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait while ignoring Russia’s warnings. Russian coastguards had to block the Strait for navigation and then open fire to stop the Ukrainian vessels. Three Ukrainian navy men were wounded in the incident. The Ukrainian ships were detained and medical aid was provided to the wounded.

Following the incident, Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko convened the National Security and Defence Council overnight from November 25 to November 26 to urge the introduction of martial law for a period of 60 days. At an extraordinary session in the evening of November 26, Ukraine’s Verkhovnaya Rada (parliament) approved the imposition of martial law in ten Ukrainian regions, including the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, for a period of 30 days.

“Despite Poroshenko’s assurances that his decree did not restrict human rights or freedoms and did not mean immediate mobilisation or any attack, the imposition of martial law cannot but inhibit Ukraine’s democratic rights and freedoms which have been in a sorry state as it is,” Deinego said.

“In this connection, the LPR Foreign Ministry strongly recommends the persons to whom conscription or mobilisation norms might be applied not to visit Ukraine,” he said. “The introduction of martial law implies tighter control over the persons crossing the border, invasion of privacy and access to digital devices and correspondence.”

“We’re expecting Ukraine to significantly increase the level of inspection of personal belongings of LPR residents crossing into Ukraine,” Deinego noted. “We ask the Republic’s residents planning to visit Ukraine, to take a responsible approach to their own safety. In the first place, make sure that your gadgets have no information which Ukrainian authorities might find “threatening.”

Deinego added that changes would occur not only at the crossing points on the contact line but also at all other crossing points on the border with the Russian Federation.

“We recommend LPR residents to reduce to the minimum the time of staying in settlements in the so-called “red zone” (the Joint Forces Operation zone with restricted sojourn, entry permits for citizens and officials and bans on entering certain areas and facilities for vehicles and citizens) or refrain from visiting them during the operation of the martial law in Ukraine,” Deinego said.

The LPR Foreign Ministry urges Ukrainian representatives to begin a productive dialogue within the framework of the Minsk Agreements and reminds that the introduction of martial law requires that Ukraine abides by the norms of international law and commitments undertaken under the Minsk documents,” Deinego said. “We are confident that it is the only way out of the conflict and those who strive for escalation are facing inevitable punishment for the crimes against humanity.”

LuganskMediaCentre — 27 November — Lugansk