Zelensky meets with ICRC president before his visit to Donbas

Zelensky meets with ICRC president before his visit to Donbas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has met with President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer and welcomed his desire to visit Donbas on both sides of the contact line, the press service of the head of state has reported.

"To feel what is happening in Donbas, you need to be there. The important thing is that you understand that you need to be on both sides of the contact line," Zelensky said.

Maurer noted the importance of his visit to Donbas, including to its occupied part. He also said that the ICRC would continue its activities in Ukraine and help the civilian population.

According to the report, both parties discussed in detail the need for the ICRC's access to prisoners held in temporarily occupied territories, which will help identify illegally detained persons.

Zelensky thanked the ICRC for coordinating the previous processes of the mutual release of prisoners and asked for assistance in obtaining lists of people from the other side to speed up the exchange according to the "all for all" formula. Maurer said that today these issues are a priority for the organization he heads. He also welcomed the adoption of the law on missing persons and assured Zelensky that the organization would provide assistance in this process.

The actions of the Ukrainian side to set up convenient points for crossing the contact line were also praised, in particular, the restoration of a movable bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska, the arrangement of an entry and exit checkpoint and plans to open new, equally comfortable checkpoints in Shchastia and Zolote.

In addition, both parties discussed the mine clearance process in Donbas. Zelensky said that preparations for the demining of 19 agreed sites had been discussed in detail within the Trilateral Contact Group and technical details were being agreed upon.

Zelensky thanked Maurer for the Red Cross's ongoing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, in particular after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and noted the ICRC's assistance in the operation of the Voda Donbasu enterprise, which provides drinking water to Ukrainians on both sides of the contact line.


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