LPR, Ukrainian engineers inspect Stanitsa bridge premises demined by Republic (PHOTOS)
LUGANSK, August 29 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Engineers of the Lugansk People’s Republic Emergencies Ministry and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine inspected the land plot near the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge earlier demined by the Republic, head of the LPR Office at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination Col Mikhail Filiponenko told reporters at the scene.
“On August 28, as a gesture of goodwill, a joint check for hazardous objects was carried out by the Ukrainian and LPR Emergencies Ministries on a stretch of the ruined bridge across the Severskiy Donetsk river at the Stanitsa Luganskaya crossing point,” Filiponenko said.
He added that Ukraine requested the LPR “to let it inspect the area earlier cleared of mines by LPR Emergency Ministry engineers."
“We let them (Ukrainian engineers) enter these premises (in the bridge area) to see (that it has been demined) so that they can start fulfilling their obligations, i.e. bridge repairs, as soon as possible,” Filiponenko said.
Previously, Filiponeniko suggested a meeting in the bridge area between LPR and Ukrainian representatives at the JCCC.
LPR engineers completed the mine clearance operation the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge area on August 16. The demining began on August 1.
On August 23, the Republic launched the dismantling of LPR militia fortifications in the bridge area.
Currently there is only one official checkpoint on the contact line in the Lugansk People’s Republic 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 in early 2015. LPR has been continuously proposing to rebuild it.
Kiev has disrupted the finalising the ICRC bridge restoration project from the very beginning of the discussion demanding that its width be limited in order to prevent the passage of armoured vehicles. The LPR repeatedly pointed out that the Ukrainian demands were ridiculous as the parameters proposed by the Republic (three metres in width and a load capacity of five tons) made military hardware traffic impossible, yet they met the minimum requirements to the passage of ambulances. Ambulance service is needed to a large incidence of people collapsing in queues and regular fatalities.
At the Contact Group meeting in Minsk on July 17, the LPR and Kiev representatives agreed on the Stanitsa bridge repair procedure which envisioned simultaneous repairs, with Ukraine restoring the stretch blown up by Kiev forces in 2015 and the LPR repairing the rest of the bridge. The parties also pledged to use the bridge for civilian purposes. The LPR repeatedly said that that it would view any unilateral actions by Kiev on the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge as an act of aggression. Kiev agreed that unilateral actions were inadmissible. The Republic and Ukraine also agreed not to stop the operation of the Stanitsa Luganskaya crossing point for the period of bridge repairs.
The bridge repair accord was reached after the disengagement of forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya in late June, which Kiev had failed more than 80 times. LPR and DPR representatives at a meeting in Minsk in September 2016 initialled a framework agreement on partial pullback of forces in Donbass, that was also signed by representatives of Ukraine, Russia and OSCE. The document provides for three security areas around Zolotoye, Stanitsa Luganskaya and Petrovskoe (DPR territory). The disengagement has been completed in all three areas by now; however, Kiev forces deploy manpower and hardware in Zolotoye and Petrovskoye areas in violation of the agreements.
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.
LuganskMediaCentre — 29 August — Lugansk