DPR representatives to Contact Group urge Ukrainian party to prevent wrecking of central water supply of southwestern part of Donbass

On July 11, the capital of the Republic of Belarus hosted the regular meeting of the Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbass. The agenda included issues of compliance with the ceasefire regime, the implementation of agreements on the disengagement of forces and facilities, the mutual approval of the “Steinmeier’s formula”, as well as the functioning of the Vodafone mobile operator in the territory of the Republics.

As the source at the peace negotiations reports from Minsk, the subgroup on economic issues continued discussing the issue of the full restoration of the mobile operator Vodafone’s operation in the territory of the DPR and the LPR.

“An understanding has been reached of further concrete steps to be taken by the parties to stabilize communication. In particular, we are talking about the need to repair the damaged line in the vicinity of the town of Yelenovka, conduct an audit of the mobile network in the DPR to assess the current situation, and supply spare parts,” the source said.

During the meeting, DPR Permanent Representative at the talks of the Contact Group in Minsk Denis Pushilin drew the attention of the meeting participants to the critical situation with the water supply of more than a million civilians and process water consumers. The problem arose as a result of damage to the Yuzhnodonbass water supply pipeline back in January 2017.

“According to the DPR envoy, further delay in coordinating the conduct of repair and restoration works threatens to disrupt the central water supply of the whole south-western region of the Donbass.

Starting from January 31, 2017, when as a result of active hostilities in the area of the industrial zone of the city of Avdeyevka, the Yuzhnodonbass water pipeline, which supplied six filtering stations (including the Donetsk one), was damaged, the Water of Donbass company has sent 18 applications to the JCCC on carrying out of inspection and repair-restoration works. So far, none application has been agreed upon, and the letters sent to the OSCE SMM remained unanswered.

According to the available information, one of the pipelines with a diameter of 1400-mm was completely disabled, the second one has a daily leakage of water in the amout of 48 thousand cubic metres, which is 27% of the total supply. At the same time, the flooding of the surrounding area in the area of the Avdeyevka industrial zone, erosion of the ground under the water conduit is not the most terrible consequences of this accident. If the repair of this section of the water pipe is not carried out in the shortest possible time, then with the onset of cold weather, the water supply of the Volnovakhsky, Krasnoarmeysky, Dobropolsky districts, the cities of Donetsk, Avdeyevka, Mariupol, Volnovaha, Krasnoarmeysk, Dokuchayevsk, Yelenovka and 49 other settlements on either side of the contact line can be stopped.

In this regard, DPR envoy Denis Pushilin addressed the OSCE SMM with a request to assist in providing guarantees from the Ukrainian side for carrying out repair and restoration works on the site of the damaged water conduit,” the source said.

Also, according to the source, Denis Pushilin drew the attention of those present to the resumption on the eve of the meeting of repair and restoration works on the sludge tanker of the third stage of the phenolic plant in the Novgorodskoye settlement, which is located on the Donbass territory temporarily under Ukraine’s control.

Despite the fact that the percentage of approved applications for repair work in the territory adjacent to the line of contact from the DPR is several times higher than that of Ukraine, the leadership of the Republic, taking into account the possible environmental consequences of the accident at the phenol plant, compromised. The only requirement for the renewal of security guarantees on the part of the Donetsk People’s Republic was the written guarantees of the Ukrainian side on the agreement to fulfil a number of conditions for carrying out repair and restoration works, namely: not using the silence regime to step up old and equip new positions in the area; performance of works in daylight; regular provision of a photo report on the progress of work.

Thanks to the active assistance of the OSCE SMM and personal participation in the negotiation process of Alexander Hug, the Ukrainian side in the JCCC finally provided such guarantees, and the works at the plant were resumed. A special monitoring mission of the OSCE undertook the weekly monitoring of the situation and the publication of the results,” the source said.

The plenipotentiary representative of the DPR reminded the participants of the Contact Group and, first of all, the representatives of Ukraine, that the progress that had been achieved in the matter of carrying out repair and restoration works at this facility became possible due to the readiness of the Republic to seek a compromise.

“Ukrainian representatives to the JCCC systematically do not coordinate applications for repair work in the territory of the DPR, refusing to provide security guarantees. Moreover, since May 18 of this year, the Ukrainian side has not granted security guarantees on any of the applications previously submitted by the Republic. Dozens of applications for repair work remain inconsistent, which means that there are civilians and infrastructure facilities near the front line left without the supply of electricity and water.

Denis Pushilin expressed the hope that the resumption of repair and restoration work on the sludge collector of the third stage of the phenolic plant after two years of complicated negotiations would be the key to restoring the practice of coordinating applications by the Ukrainian party,” the source said.

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