ROSTOV-ON-DON, May 5. /TASS/. The authorities of Russia’s Rostov region have supported the idea put forward by Kiev-appointed head of the Luhansk region Gennady Moskal to restore small cross-border traffic in the Ukrainian settlement of Melovoye for residents of the settlement of Chertkovo in the Rostov region, the region’s deputy governor Anatoly Safronov told TASS on Tuesday.
Ukraine has unilaterally terminated the bilateral agreement on local border traffic as of March 16. Now Russian citizens who live near the Ukrainian border may enter the territory of this country only through international and inter-state checkpoints and with foreign passports only.
"Of course, we support this initiative. This is one nation, one people, relatives, friends, colleagues. Chertkovo is the most sensitive issue for us today. Governor of the Rostov region Vasily Golubev discussed the issue with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The question is also being addressed by the Russian government. We are doing our utmost to restore the old order on the border, because it’s impossible to resolve the issue the way the Ukrainian authorities suggest," Safronov said.
Chertkovo and Melovoye are separated from each other by a railway. After the break-up of the Soviet Union relatives and friends of local residents found themselves in two different countries. The Chertkovo-Melovoye pedestrian border crossing was created for the sake of convenience of local residents who crossed the border in a simplified manner.
According to Gennady Moskal, the settlements along the border are linked by economic and family ties. "The government decree on terminating the cross-border movements has triggered social unrest here. There are more than 1,000 families here, where one of the spouses has Ukrainian citizenship and the other - Russian. Therefore, I will prepare an appeal to the government urging it to restore the local border traffic between Ukraine and Russia in Melovoye for residents of Chertkovo," the head of the Lugansk regional administration wrote on his official website.