1 March 2018, 10:00


Safer bridge outside Stanitsa Luganskaya is an urgent humanitarian need, ICRC keeps engaged

LUGANSK, March 1 (Lugansk Media Centre) – Having a safer bridge outside Stanitsa Luganskaya, used by thousands people daily to cross the contact line, is an urgent humanitarian need, the ICRC said in its report made available to the Lugansk Media Center.

"Having a safer bridge is an urgent humanitarian need, and we will keep to engage with all parties to find a permanent and mutually acceptable solution for it. In the meantime, the ICRC, together with local Red Cross volunteers, will continue to maintain shelters on both sides of the bridge where people may sit down, warm up, have a cup of tea, and benefit from first aid," the reports reads. In January over 43,000 people benefited from heating points on both sides of the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge, where they were assisted by local Red Cross volunteers.

The partial reconstruction of the wooden footbridge of Stanitsa Luganska was completed on 9 December last year, making the crossing more secure and easier, especially in winter conditions, the international organization reminded.

"The ICRC arranged for and supervised the replacement of the broken wooden ramps, which was carried out by a company and agreed upon by all concerned parties. Thousands of people have to walk over the bridge daily; it is particularly hard for the elderly, sick or the disabled. This was, however, not the full reconstruction we had proposed and we continue to work on," it said.

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.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on 12 February 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by its 2202 Resolution 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 — 01 March — Lugansk