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★ DPR shares LPR’s concerns about Kiev’s plans on Zolotoye checkpoint and Stanitsa bridge

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Donetsk, Mar 23 – DAN. The DPR shares LPR’s concerns about the unilateral opening of the Zolotoye checkpoint announced by Kiev, as well as the one-sided repairs of the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge, said DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova.

“Ukraine’s announced intentions to open the Zolotoye checkpoint unilaterally and to repair the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge on their own are simple provocations, disguised as peace initiatives,” her statement received by DAN reads.

“Any action in the conflict zone must be coordinated by the two sides. Unilateral initiatives on the contact line are fraught with potential civilian casualties.”

“We share the LPR’s concerns and urge the OSCE and guarantor countries to pay attention to the unacceptable behavior of Ukraine.”

Kiev’s representatives said on Friday that Ukraine plans to open the Zolotoye checkpoint (Ukraine-LPR border) on Sunday, March 24. They have also announced plans to begin repair works on the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge unilaterally.

The LPR has been consistently insisting on opening of the Schastye checkpoint simultaneously with the Zolotoye checkpoint on the condition that the areas are cleared of mines and UXO and the disengagement of forces and hardware is finalized in the Stanitsa Luganskaya disengagement zone. Currently the areas are not safe for civilian traffic. The Zolotoye-5 township remains a regular target of Ukrainian forces.

The dispute about the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge and its technical specifications is also ongoing. The LPR has repeatedly proposed to reconstruct the bridge at the only official checkpoint connecting LPR with the Kiev-controlled Lugansk region. The ICRC has developed technical plans to rebuilt its collapsed sections and make the bridge available for ambulances, which requires 3-meter width. Kiev has set the 2.2-meter limit which would make it impossible for ambulances to cross the river.*ot

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