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Ukraine to introduce electronic border controls in Donbas from July 7

June 24, 2015, 17:09 UTC+3 KIEV
Citizens could apply for a special permit via e-mail or fill in an application form at coordination centres, Ukraine's official said
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© Stepan Petrenko/TASS

KIEV, June 24. /TASS/. The head of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council said on Wednesday that Kiev authorities were planning to set up an electronic control system at crossing points in the country’s southeast, starting from July 7.

"An electronic entry system will be introduced at crossing points in the zone of military operations," the council's secretary, Alexander Turchinov, told a session in Kiev, adding that citizens could apply for a special permit via e-mail or fill in an application form at coordination centres.

Applications will be automatically checked in Kiev forces’ databases for involvement in criminal offences. Those involved in crimes will be arrested at crossing points. Those who pass the checks can cross the disengagement line in the eastern Donbass region if they have a Ukrainian passport.

President Petro Poroshenko says tighter border controls are needed to prevent smuggling. But authorities in east Ukraine’s self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk do not agree with these plans, saying they contradict terms of peace accords reached in Minsk, Belarus, in February.

"The Complex of Measures [to fulfil the Minsk deal] explicitly states that the economic blockade [of Donetsk and Luhansk regions] should be lifted unconditionally and with no strings attached," said Vladislav Deinego, the Luhansk republic’s envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group of senior representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Kiev was to establish control over the border "only after [local] elections are held", Deinego said, referring to Point Nine of the February "complex" signed by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.

This said "reinstatement of full control of the state border by the government of Ukraine throughout the conflict area" should "start on day one after local elections and end after the comprehensive political settlement."

The deal also noted that the entire process should be carried out "with and upon agreement by representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group".

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