The Federal Foreign Office and the French Foreign Ministry issued the following statement today (13 November 2020) on the creation of new crossing points on the contact line in eastern Ukraine:
Germany and France welcome the creation of two new crossing points on the contact line. This raises the number of crossing points along the approx. 450km-long contact line to seven. Ukraine is thus complying with the obligations agreed by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in the conclusions of the Normandy-format Summit held in Paris on 9 December 2019. Ukraine has thus taken steps to improve the desolate conditions at the crossing points before winter sets in and to ease the suffering of the people in eastern Ukraine. We welcome the European Union’s support in making available the infrastructure at the new crossing points in Zolote and Shchastya.
We pay tribute to the engagement of Ambassador Heidi Grau, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the Trilateral Contact Group, and Ambassador Toni Frisch, Coordinator of the Humanitarian Working Group, in pushing for this Opening.
We call on Russia and the separatists to reopen all existing crossing points on the contact line in the Donetsk region without delay. Thousands of people wanting to see doctors, draw pensions or visit relatives are currently prohibited from crossing the contact line. The conflict must not be allowed to continue to be waged at the expense of the population, and the divides must not be allowed to widen.
Despite an agreement in the Trilateral Contact Group, the separatists have not complied with their obligations to enable the opening of the crossing points in Zolote and Shchastya on 10 November as agreed. We call upon Russia to use its influence to ensure that these agreements are implemented. As a member of the Trilateral Contact Group, Russia is also in direct negotiations with Ukraine and bears a share of responsibility for the successful implementation of the conclusions of the Paris Summit.
Germany and France remain committed to the goal of implementing in full the agreements reached at the Summit of 9 December 2019.