Russia’s "Iron Curtain" policy in occupied territories won’t work - MFA

Russia will not be able to prevent residents of the temporarily occupied territories of eastern Ukraine and Crimea from staying in contact with the Ukrainian authorities.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Oleh Nikolenko has made a relevant statement to Ukrinform in response to his Russian counterpart Maria Zakharova’s claim about Ukraine allegedly plotting a "provocation."

"Russia will not be able to prevent the residents of the temporarily occupied Donbas and Crimea from staying in contact with the Ukrainian authorities. Just as the Soviet occupation forces were unable to prevent contacts between Germans from East and West Berlin. The Iron Curtain policy won’t work,” Nikolenko said.

He noted that the degrading situation in the temporarily occupied territories requires innovative solutions on the part of Ukraine. "Improving the lives of Ukrainians on both sides of the contact line, providing them with quality public services, and strengthening their ties with the rest of the Ukrainian state remains an unconditional priority for President Volodymyr Zelensky," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Read also: Crimea Platform puts occupied Crimea issue back on international agenda - experts

At the same time, he stressed Russia’s obligation, as an occupying power, to strictly adhere to its international legal commitments and comply with the agreements reached by the Normandy Four leaders. In particular, Russia must meet the basic needs of the population in the territories it effectively controls, including adequate protection against COVID-19, unblock the crossing checkpoints, cease sabotaging the work of the Trilateral Contact Group, guarantee safe and secure access of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to the entire occupied territory, and ensure full and unconditional access of international organizations, including the ICRC, to all persons held in connection with the conflict,” Nikolenko said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier claimed the Ukrainian authorities were plotting a "provocation" by planning to open “contact points” for people living in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea so that residents of these regions could reach out to the Ukrainian authorities.

Read also: Donbas update: Invaders violate ceasefire four times, mortaring Ukraine positions

On October 22, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, announced plans to set up points for direct communication with the president and the authorities on the line of contact with the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea. The Ministry of Digital Transformation has been entrusted with creating such centers. At its next meeting, the NSDC is expected to consider the solutions that are set to be proposed.


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