Ukraine Opens Zolote Checkpoint on Donbas Frontline
The checkpoint was immediately blocked by Russian backed militants followed by two more unsuccessful attempts to open it
Six passport control points, concrete block-houses and seating areas describe the recently opened Zolote entry-exit checkpoint in the Lushansk region. Ukraine spent about a quarter-0f-a-million dollars to open it.
“Today, we open the entry-exit checkpoint on a unilateral basis. There are six passport control modules here for Ukrainian citizens. Twelve job positions were created here. There are protective buildings for comfortable and safe crossing of the demarcation line,” commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Serhiy Nayev said.
The Russian-backed militants ignore the issue and the Minsk Agreements which provides for the opening of Zolote checkpoint. The actions of the militants, according to Ukraine, could make the humanitarian situation in the region even worse. Now, in the Luhansk region, there’s not a single car entry-exit checkpoint. People can only leave the occupied territory through the Donetsk region.
“It’s very important for residents of the area to get at least one checkpoint like this. We’ve been ready to open it for three years now. It is anticipated that over one-and-a-half thousand cars can drive through it per day,” Deputy Head of the Luhansk Regional Civil-Military Administration Yuriy Klymenko said.
Though the entry-exit checkpoint has not been opened in three years, residents of nearby villages used to go through it all the time.
“Every day, local residents of the Gray Zone, that is Katerynivka, Horikhove, and Zolote pass through it. About 130 cars and nearly 300 locals,” an assistant to the head of the Lysychiansk border guard, Nelia Dotsenko said.
In March 2016, Ukraine suspended the operation of the Zolote entry-exit checkpoint due to the provocations of Russian backed militants. One-hundred-thirty-five thousand people live in this area, on both sides of the demarcation line. The functioning entry-exit crossing would decrease the traffic through the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint. Now, over 11,000 people pass through it every day.