Parties to Minsk talks on Donbas agree on demining near Stanytsia Luhanska bridge from August 1

19:59, 31 July 2019
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Stanytsia Luhanska / Photo from president.gov.ua

"The Ukrainian side has handed over its proposals as for repairs to the bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska. Agreements have been reached to begin demining the areas adjacent to the bridge starting from tomorrow [August 1]," Ukrainian envoy Leonid Kuchma's press secretary Darka Olifer wrote on Facebook on July 31.

"Before the repairs start, the roadblock and symbols of quasi-formations of illegal armed groups in the ORLO [self-proclaimed 'Luhansk People's Republic'] should be removed, the subsequent dismantling of fortifications in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska should proceed simultaneously and in synchronized mode," she said.

As UNIAN reported, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Russia-led forces started disengaging weapons and troops in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska on June 26. The disengagement ended on June 30. The process was monitored by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.

Read alsoRussia occupation troops impede experts' access to damaged  bridge in Donbas disengagement area

On July 8, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that Ukraine was ready to unilaterally begin rebuilding the destroyed bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska if the dismantling of concrete fortifications did not begin from the side of the occupied territories within a week.

On July 16, Deputy Head of the President's Office Vadym Prystaiko said that during a meeting of advisers to the Normandy Four leaders, Russian envoy Vladislav Surkov undertook to "influence" the proxy forces to dismantle the fortifications.

On July 18, Ukraine's representative in the political subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas settlement in Minsk, Roman Bezsmertnyi, said that the group members had decided to dismantle the fortifications in the area of the bridge, and to rebuild it.

On July 23, a working group on the restoration of the bridge was created, whose members included representatives of the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ukravtodor road agency, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry for Occupied Territories and IDPs, the Ministry of Regional Development, the State Border Guard Service, Luhansk Military-Civil Administration, as well as design and engineering organizations.

On July 29, the government's ad hoc group agreed a bridge rebuilding schedule.

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