Comment from Daria Morozova on the situation with checkpoints

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

I am not surprised by the position of Ukraine on some issues discussed at the meetings of the humanitarian subgroup. Despite the fact that, according to the Constitution, the Head of a state is the guarantor of the implementation of human and civil rights and freedoms, we still continue to observe the destructive Ukrainian policy taking place amid the situation with the opening of checkpoints. In this regard, the inaction of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is definitely shocking.

A month and a half ago, we were glad to support Ukraine’s initiative to open checkpoints. We expressed our position on the need to comply with all sanitary standards aimed at containing coronavirus infection. The crossing of checkpoints had to be dosed and coordinated, therefore this mechanism was called the “humanitarian corridor”.

It was the Ukrainian side that proposed to draw up “certain lists” in order to pass the citizens on specially designated dates. In turn, we immediately sent an official written position with the lists (formed on the basis of citizens’ appeals) to the Ukrainian side.

Moreover, for a long period of time, we duplicated these letters and also insisted, both in personal and direct contacts, on providing a response in the case of organizing a humanitarian corridor.

But instead, at a regular meeting of the humanitarian subgroup, the official representative of Kiev said that the issue was not on the agenda. Subsequently, we learned from the media that the Ukrainian side unilaterally made a decision on the launch of checkpoints on the border with the DPR.

Firstly, I was amazed at the innovations in the process of passing checkpoints. Secondly, it was assumed that checkpoints should function for an extremely short time and in the hottest period of the day, which is not safe for citizens. According to the representative of Ukraine, the indicated checkpoints intend to work from 11:00 to 14:00, but already at 13:30, the pass of citizens will not be carried out.

On June 9, a letter with a proposal to develop a joint mechanism in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was sent to the Ukrainian side again. After all, we all know about the difficult situation on the territory of Ukraine, where outbreaks of infection are recorded even among the highest state officials. Accordingly, we have no right to risk the lives and health of our citizens.

However, it is striking that at the previous meeting of the humanitarian subgroup, the Ukrainian side did not react to any proposal for the joint opening of checkpoints. I want to emphasize that we are ready for any online meetings and personal contacts in order to resolve this issue. The key condition is the presence of a written position of the representatives of Ukraine, as noted by the coordinator of the humanitarian subgroup Tony Frisch.

To date, the Ukrainian side categorically refuses to look for ways to develop a common mechanism. I would like to emphasize that one should not speculate on the health and lives of people on both sides of the Contact Line. We ask you not to politicize this issue and not to use it for the purpose of public relations.

I call on all interested parties to immediately influence on the destructive position of Ukraine. We are obliged to ensure the right of citizens to freedom of movement as soon as possible.