UN Humanitarian Coordinator criticizes procedure for crossing contact line in Donbas

UN Humanitarian Coordinator criticizes procedure for crossing contact line in Donbas

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine Osnat Lubrani calls for urgent action to systematize vetting and approval of exceptions for civilians to cross the contact line in Donbas.

“In eastern Ukraine, the closure of all entry-exit crossing points since late March has meant that hundreds of people who are potentially facing such exceptional situations have been unable to systematically be heard or assisted,” reads the statement of UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine Osnat Lubrani.

In general, the UN acknowledges Ukraine’s efforts to implement some exemptions to allow individuals to cross the ‘contact line’ for a number of exceptional reasons.

The UN Coordinator considers that the introduction of clear and well-defined criteria is critical to serve those with legitimate reasons to be granted an exception to cross the ‘contact line.’

Lubrani underscores that the number of Ukrainian citizens desperate to cross the entry-exit checkpoints on the ‘contact line’ with the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is already high and continues to grow daily.

“I urge all relevant actors to introduce a transparent and effective vetting mechanism to consider such cases and to facilitate and expedite crossing permissions on emergency grounds while COVID-19-related restrictions remain in place,” the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine emphasizes.

On March 22, the entry-exit crossing points on the contact line in Donbas were temporarily closed due to coronavirus quarantine.

The points could be fully operational no earlier than June 22.


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