DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER REZNIKOV AND EU COMMISSIONER LENARCIC DISCUSSED THE NEED FOR UNCONDITIONAL ACCESS OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ON THE TERRITORY OF UKRAINE, INCLUDING TOT
Oleksii Reznikov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories, and Janez Lenarcic, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, held an online meeting.
First of all, Oleksii Reznikov expressed gratitude to the EU for support to Ukraine in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Since 2014, the European Union has sent humanitarian aid worth more than EUR 1 billion. In his turn, Janez Lenarcic emphasized the full support on the side of EU, including support for sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders.
At the meeting, the officials discussed the need to ensure access for international organizations throughout Ukraine, including the temporarily occupied territory. They separately discussed Donbas, where the occupation regimes keep Ukrainian citizens in captivity, in particular the so-called "Isolation". "This is a torture chamber, where Ukrainian prisoners are abused and killed. Journalist and hero Stas Asieiev, who spent 28 months in this torture chamber, found the strength to survive and was released from captivity in December last year. It is painful and scary to talk about what they are doing to our citizens. I beg you to meet with Stas and hear first-hand about all atrocities taking place in "Isolation". Together we must ensure that the ICRC has access to all Ukrainian captives. This concerns not only Donbas, but also the occupied Crimea," emphasized Reznikov.
The parties also discussed the issues of humanitarian demining. Oleksii Reznikov shared his experience on the results of his visit to the Republic of Croatia, recalling that despite the fact that the war ended 25 years ago, demining is still ongoing, and completion is planned for 2025. "We understand that we have a similar road ahead of us. And I am not afraid to admit that full safe reintegration in Ukraine, including the completion of demining, will take at least 25 years," added Reznikov. Mr. Lenarcic stated that the EU is ready to assist Ukraine in this direction as well.
The parties also discussed the situation with COVID-19. In particular, Oleksii Reznikov informed on the readiness of Ukraine to deploy humanitarian camps near the administrative line with the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
The issues of social protection, including pension provision were discussed. Lenarcic expressed hope that pensions for Ukrainian citizens would be preserved. Reznikov, in his turn, said that pensions have been saved and accrued. "Furthermore, the Government has abolished the mandatory verification within 60 days, and takes all necessary steps to ensure that citizens can get pensions as comfortably as possible. Since November 10, for example, two new EECPs have been opened in Luhansk oblast. At one of them, in Shchastia city, a multifunctional service center was opened, where people can receive all administrative and social services, including solving the issues of pensions and withdrawal of cash," noted Reznikov.
At the end of the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine invited the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management to pay an official visit to Ukraine.