Ukraine's NSDC secretary explains need for joint patrols in Donbas
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov has said border patrolling in Donbas is necessary for local elections to be held there according to Ukrainian law on Ukrainian territory, and for the war to eventually end.
According to him, border guards must control the border, the National Guard of Ukraine must control the adjacent territory, while residents from local communities could take part in joint patrolling.
"There are residents of local communities who, according to the Croatian example, could also take part in joint patrolling. But this doesn't mean there will be occupiers [as part of patrols]. We are not talking about those who had taken up weapons," he told Ukraine 24 TV channel.
Danilov says Ukraine authorities will not allow participation in joint patrolling to those who had been killing Ukrainians.
"There are representatives of local communities who live in those territories. People with Ukrainian registration, who are local, have the right to take part in such patrols. We will see what kind of person they are, what they were doing during the occupation. I emphasize once again these can't be the people who have been killing Ukrainians," he said.
Danilov added the process of joint border patrolling would be carried out in approval with the OSCE or other international organization.
As UNIAN reported on February 15, President In Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that joint patrols, consisting of Ukrainians, representatives of the occupied territories, and OSCE SMM observers, ensure security in the temporarily occupied territories during preparations for local elections.
Ukrainian authorities earlier said they aimed to hold local elections throughout the country in October 2020, including the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea.