Ukrainian MFA calls on Russia to ensure access of OSCE SMM, other humanitarian NGOs to Donbas
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry shares the concerns of Paris and Berlin, which were expressed in a joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of France and Germany on March 30, about the absence of progress in the process of peaceful settlement in Donbas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Together with our partners in the Normandy format, Germany and France, we are calling on Russia as a party to the international military conflict to immediately fulfill its defense obligations under the Minsk Agreements, in particular, to ensure a lasting ceasefire in Donbas," the press service for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Moscow has said more than once that Russia is not a party to the conflict in Donbas.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also said that Ukraine has previously drawn the attention of the international community to the inability to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the territories in the eastern party of the country uncontrolled by Kyiv.
"In a situation of continuing military action and de facto closure of the occupied part of Donbas to the OSCE SMM [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission], establishments of the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other international humanitarian non-governmental organizations [NGOs], local residents have found themselves in the position of hostages, defenseless in the face of the pandemic threat," the Foreign Ministry said.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry insists that Russia is obligated to ensure unimpeded access to the "occupied territories," including the section of the Ukrainian-Russian state border, in accordance with obligations assumed under the Minsk Agreements.
"We are calling on Russia to ensure the full rights of illegally imprisoned Ukrainians to life and access to healthcare, to ensure the unimpeded and safe access of members of monitoring missions and the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as Ukrainian doctors, to the population of the temporarily occupied territories for the purposes of conducting qualified medical examinations and treatment," the ministry said.
According to earlier reports, on March 30, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued a joint statement in which they expressed their concerns about the restrictions imposed on the OSCE SMM in Ukraine by the self-proclaimed Donbas republics on March 21, 2020.