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Minister Lajčák Visits the Line of Contact in Eastern Ukraine

Minister Lajčák Visits the Line of Contact in Eastern Ukraine

16.1.2019 | Aktivity ministra | Predsedníctvo Slovenska v OBSE |

The two-day visit paid by Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, to Ukraine continued today (16 January 2019) when the head of Slovak diplomacy visited the city of Severodonetsk in the company of Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister. The Slovak Minister met with representatives of the administration of Luhansk Oblast and emphasized that the key condition for a positive development is to reach a long-term ceasefire. “If the military logic and the mutual exchange of fire continue, with targets including schools, hospitals and factories, we will not get anywhere. As the OSCE Chairmanship country, we want to bring this lingering conflict back to the attention of the international community and recall the difficult fates of hundred thousands of affected people," said Lajčák after visiting the line of contact and the station Luhansk, where Slovakia financially supports mobile health care facilities, which have helped more than 1,200 people in need since its introduction. SlovakAid, the Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation, plans to allocate another €20,000 to help women and children who are most affected as a result of the conflict in the east of the country. “As the country chairing the OSCE, we want to actively help people who suffer most in the conflict zones, also in collaboration with other participating countries and international organizations such as the UN, the EU and the International Red Cross,” emphasized Minister Lajčák. In this regard he added that almost four and a half million people have been affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and of these more than 400,000 civilians who live close to the line of contact suffer from a shortage of food.  “I’m shocked at the terrible conditions which older people, women and children, as well as others dependent on basic social assistance, live in.  It is unthinkable that Europeans in the 21st century don’t have their basic needs met and don’t have access to proper health care,” stated the head of Slovak diplomacy after having visited the line of contact.  Then the Minister came to the city of Lysychansk where he delivered 24 tons of humanitarian aid valued at more than €83,000 to the local children’s clinic of the Luhansk Oblast hospital. In the east of Ukraine he also met with Slovak representatives in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and highlighted their active contribution to the mission activities. 

The visit of Ukraine was the first of a series of foreign visits that Lajčák is going to make as the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. Slovakia will chair the OSCE during the entire year of 2019.