Kyiv, January 19, 2016. The only checkpoint across the contact line for pedestrians is operating in Stanytsia Luhanska. It was opened on October 27. Since then about 160 thousand people have used it: 80 thousand crossed to the Ukraine-controlled territory and almost 78 thousand to the temporary occupied areas. It is almost fully equipped now. Passenger traffic connection with Severodonetsk, Bilovodsk, Shchastia and other towns has been set up. A kiosk with food and warming points are open near the checkpoint, 500-600 people use their services daily. Medical team is on service there 24/7, reported Yuriy Klymenko, Deputy Head of the Luhansk Regional Military and Civil Administration on public order and security.
Among the main problems he named funding of the checkpoints and the property rights on the land plots on which the checkpoints and supporting objects operate. Moreover it is crucial to equip more comfortable working places for border guards and customs officers. No representatives of Ukraine’s Security Service who issue passes to cross the contact line are present at control checkpoints. Video surveillance is not present everywhere. No mechanism to pay for gas and water supply is in place.
Klymenko noted that on January 21-26 a governmental working group is to inspect all control checkpoints at the contact line and is to compile the so-called passports: standards for control checkpoints that will include requirements ranging from number of benches and toilets to lighting standards.
According to Klymenko the road Zolote – Pervomaysk is planned to be opened for vehicles. “We are ready to open it but representatives of the so-called ‘Luhank People’s Republic’ (‘LPR’) don’t let neither vehicle, nor people through,” he explained. We also considered opening two more corridors: the one passing through Novotoshkivske and Popasna – Pervomaysk corridor. “We will suggest a choice between these three corridors and will submit the chosen option during the sitting of the humanitarian sub-group in Minsk on January 27,” noted Deputy Head of Luhansk Regional Military and Civil Administration.
Vitaly Hryhoriev, Deputy Head of the border control department at the border guard detachment in Donetsk region, added that six lines for light vehicles and two lines for pedestrians are operational at Hnutove control checkpoint. It is used by 1200 vehicles, 30 buses and three thousand people daily. It is equipped with two warming tents and a medical team is on service there.
Over the checkpoint’s lifespan counterfeit goods worth of UAH 2 million were confiscated, four cases of weapons smuggling were stopped. One more control checkpoint in Donetsk region is planned to be opened in Volnovakha.