All efforts of the Ukrainian state are aimed at ensuring that Ukrainians in the temporarily occupied territories maintain reliable, convenient and secure channels of communication with the Homeland. This was emphasized by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a joint statement with President of the European Council Charles Michel to the media at “Shchastya” checkpoint within a working trip to the Luhansk region.
"Ukraine is doing everything possible to ensure that our citizens in the temporarily occupied territories feel the maximum support of the state," he said.
The President also noted the large-scale efforts of the European Union to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and in the conflict zone, to assist in demining and to provide funding for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.
At the same time, the President noted that these aspirations of Ukraine run into a completely destructive position of the Russian Federation.
"The Russian party, which has so long insisted on opening a checkpoint in Shchastya, continues to block its work, just as it is in Zolote. There is no unimpeded access of international humanitarian organizations to the affected population and illegally detained persons. This approach is unacceptable, inhumane and destructive," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Head of State also drew attention to the fact that in recent weeks there have been regular provocations by illegal armed groups, which complicate the situation in eastern Ukraine and the path to peace.
"Our military, our men, continue to die. Only in the last ten days we have lost two of our defenders, two heroes," the President said.
For his part, the President of the European Council noted that he had seen with his own eyes how the work carried out by Ukraine in cooperation with international partners on the touch line in Donbas improved people's daily life.
"And I also saw the impact of EU direct aid here in Shchastya," he added.
Charles Michel noted that the European Union had provided significant support to Ukraine to mitigate the impact of the conflict.
"This year we are launching a new program to support economic development and public services provision in the region. It will also include funding for checkpoints,” he said.
The President of the European Council is convinced that a complete ceasefire, the opening of more checkpoints and further humanitarian demining will improve the life of people on both sides of the touch line, and the EU stands ready to support these efforts.
According to Charles Michel, the EU expects Russia to provide full access for the OSCE SMM to all Ukrainian territories not currently controlled by the government, and the COVID-19 pandemic should not be used as an excuse to further separate these territories from Ukraine.
"We also call on Russia to return to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination," he added.