Access mode in the ATO area operates beyond the legal field – experts of “Restoring Donbas”
13:29 / 30 Jan. 2015 / 542
Access mode Procedures in the ATO area, approved on January 22, 2015, has a number of issues in terms of practical application. Today access authorization system operates in manual mode, as approved Procedures do not regulate solution to many problematic issues at crossing the boundary line. Additionally, the Procedures have not passed through the official publication, which raises the question about its legitimacy. Lawyers of the community initiative “Restoring Donbas” came to this conclusion after studying the document.
Experts remind that the approved Procedures provide for the possibility of entry into the ATO area and departure from it only with documents that can justify the need for the trip. This rule raises a whole number of questions, the answers to which Ukrainian citizens are not able to get today. For example:
– What should one do when leaving the ATO area if documents, proving the identity, were lost or destroyed? It is impossible to get them re-issued on the territory, controlled by DNR or LNR. It is also impossible to leave the ATO area in order to have documents re-issued.
– How can one prove the fact of relatives’ death in the ATO area? On the territory, controlled by Ukraine it is impossible to obtain these documents. Documents issued by DNR or LNR are not recognized in Ukraine, and government bodies were withdrawn from there by Presidential Decree of November 4, 2014.
Each of these questions involves thousands of individual cases, faced by the region residents and which are overlooked in the current edition of the Procedures. As a result, issues of access authorization are being solved based on arrangements between people at checkpoints.
It is important that the Procedures restrict not only movement of citizens, but also transportation of goods. In particular, only goods with a special permission of the State Fiscal Service can be transported across the boundary line. In accordance with paragraph 1.14 of the Procedures, only those entities that are registered in the SFS bodies and that are paying taxes to the state budget of Ukraine can do that. As a result, approved Procedures include merely 30 enterprises of Donbas, which are allowed to perform transportation of cargoes – 24 enterprises in Donetsk region and 6 – in Luhansk region.
At that, consumer goods and food are absent from the list of transportable goods. Mainly industrial products, necessary for production process are allowed for transportation. Thus, humanitarian aid remains, practically, the only channel for delivery of food to the region. The maximum amount of food, allowed for transportation without special permission – food weighing less than 50 kg and worth not more than 5 000 UAH. Such approach essentially means food blockade of the region.
Approval process and publication of the Procedures trigger questions too. According to lawyers of “Restoring Donbas”, as of January 30, Procedures have not been published in special publications “Holos Ukrainy” (Voice of Ukraine) and “Uryadoviy Courier” (Government Courier). The document is available only on websites of the State Security Service and the Fiscal Service of Ukraine. At the same time, as a general rule, laws, acts of the President, Cabinet of Ministers and other authorities should be published in these special publications. Absence of the fact of publication raises the question of compliance of the approved Procedures with a number of laws and legal acts, as well as with Article 57 of the Constitution of Ukraine.
Let us remind, on January 23, 2015, a document called “Temporary procedures for control over movements of individuals, vehicles and goods along the junction line in Donetsk and Luhansk regions” appeared on the Internet. This document is approved by the order of the First deputy Head of the Antiterrorist Center under the Security Service of Ukraine (Head of the Antiterrorist Operation in Donetsk and Lugansk regions) № 27ог of 22.01.2015.