Kiev closes one checkpoint in Donbass — border control service
Ukraine has temporarily closed the border checkpoint Zaytsevo on the contact line in the Donetsk Region, press secretary of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Oleg Slobodyan told TASS on Wednesday. “The border checkpoint Zaytsevo is temporarily closed. Stanitsa Luganskaya checkpoint is working in the routine mode but everything will depend on the intensity of shellings there,” Slobodyan said. If security of peaceful residents is threatened there, the checkpoint in Stanitsa Luganskaya will be temporarily closed as well but for now “the situation remains calm in general,” he added. It is not clear for how long the Zaytsevo checkpoint will be closed. Among other border checkpoints operating in the routine mode are Gnutovo, Novotroitskoye and Maryinka. “The number of people and vehicles at these checkpoints has not increased over the last 24 hours,” the press secretary noted. Head of Donetsk military-civil administration (part of Donetsk Region controlled by Kiev) Pavel Zhebrovsky said the Zaytsevo checkpoint will be closed starting from February 3. The idea was supported by head of Luhansk military-civil administration Georgy Tuka who added that the border checkpoint Stanitsa Luganskaya may be closed as well. The Ukrainian side explained the decision by the deterioration of security situation in the region. However, spokesman for the defense ministry of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Eduard Basurin said that Kiev decided to unilaterally close checkpoints at the contact line because main goods are cheaper in DPR. “As a result of the upcoming provocation, Ukrainian authorities intend to stop allowing Ukrainian citizens on DPR territory due to considerable differences in prices for main goods in Ukraine’s border region and DPR,” Basurin said. He added that bread, milk, vegetables, cereal and other goods are considerably cheaper in DPR than in Ukraine.