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4 July 2019, 15:30

MILITARY&DEFENCE

Minsk-2

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Russia to support LPR’s initiative to restore Stanitsa Luganskaya Bridge - Gryzlov

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LUGANSK, July 4 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The Russian delegation at the next Contact Group meeting in Minsk will support the Lugansk People’s Republic initiative to restore, on its own, the bridge in Stanitsa Luganskaya ruined by Kiev forces, the Russian news agency Tass reported citing Russian representative to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov.

The restoration of the bridge is the key step towards normalising the situation in the Stanitsa Luganskaya disengagement zone, Gryzlov said.

“There is a project of the International Committee of the Red Cross supported by the LPR but blocked by Kiev. The latter said that it had a project of its own but never presented it,” he said.

“Today, Lugansk representatives proposed to restore the ruined bridge under the ICRC project. This proposal deserves attention and detailed discussion at a Contact Group meeting. The delegation of the Russian Federation, as a mediator, will support the Lugansk initiative at the next meeting of the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup,” the Russian representative said.

He expressed the hope that that Kiev and Lugansk “will soon reach a compromise on the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge restoration project, its cost and operation.”

Earlier, LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik ordered LPR authorities to address the issue of Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge repairs based on the ICRC project.

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 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 due to many cases of people collapsing in long queues and regular fatalities.

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 — 04 July — Lugansk