During a trip to Donbas, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga inspected the pedestrian bridge over Siversky Donets and got acquainted with the work of the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint.
"I am grateful to Madam President that it was not just a state visit of the President of Switzerland to Ukraine - it is a three-day serious meeting, it is a dialogue, it is the signing of important agreements, it is support for our sovereignty and territorial integrity. It's not just to see Kyiv and go, as often happens. For me personally, it is very important that the presidents of other countries see different places of our beautiful Ukraine, not just the capital," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a meeting with media representatives at the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint.
The Head of State noted that the repaired bridge over Siversky Donets, which has previously been destroyed by hostilities, is also a very important object, as it demonstrates what the Ukrainian authorities are doing to establish communication "between all Ukrainians on our land".
"We show people on the other side: please, we are on our land, in our country, see how you can live in your country, what infrastructure we are building - bridges, roads, real and normal checkpoints," the President said.
At the same time, according to the Head of State, this bridge has a purely humanitarian mission: so that people can reach relatives who are on the other side of the line of delimitation, so that they can buy the necessary medicines and food.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that in the near future modern hubs will be built near all checkpoints, which will be convenient for all citizens, where they will be able to receive administrative services and buy medicines and products.
"Hubs or checkpoints - we will open everything, but, unfortunately, we are waiting for the other side. Therefore, we have only one normally working point now. That is why we are working on this (opening of other checkpoints - ed.). This is not our voyage. Someday, when we return all our territories, I will invite you - then there will be a voyage. For now, this is a purely humanitarian mission, just humanitarian aid," the President added.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted courage of the President of Switzerland, who dared to go to this bridge with him, and thanked her for it.
Simonetta Sommaruga stressed that Ukraine is a country with great potential, but at the same time with great challenges.
"I thank you, Mr. President Zelenskyy, for your personal efforts to open this bridge in 2019. This bridge has a symbolic meaning, but above all it has a practical meaning for the people who live here," the President of the Swiss Confederation noted.
She stressed the importance of road construction in Donbas.
"The road leading from here to Severodonetsk, which will soon be completely restored, is of great humanitarian, social and economic importance for people who live on both sides of the delimitation line and use this road every day," Simonetta Sommaruga said.
According to the President of Switzerland, investors should hold negotiations on the participation in the projects in Donbas.
"We have held many talks, and I am sure that we need to invest in this area, in this region. In particular, infrastructure, energy. I will probably advise our investors to do so," she said.