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Statement of the MFA of Ukraine on demands to the Russian Federation as an occupying state to protect life and health of the population of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
15 April 2020 17:15

In the context of the spread of acute respiratory disease COVID-19, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses concern about the state of protection of life and health of the population of the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The ongoing armed aggression of the Russian Federation makes it impossible for the Ukrainian side to provide assist the population of the temporarily occupied territories directly. Aid from the international community also becomes significantly difficult in the context of continued hostilities and the actual closure of access by the occupation administration to the OSCE SMM, the UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international humanitarian organizations.

The obligation of the Russian Federation as an occupying State under international humanitarian law is to take all necessary measures to protect life and health of the population of these territories.

In particular, under Article 56 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, the occupying state is obliged to ensure and maintain in the occupied territory satisfactory healthcare and hygiene conditions and must take the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics.

We demand from the Russian Federation to give on a constant basis exhaustive information on the spread of coronavirus disease on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and on measures it undertakes to assist the population of these territories to cope with the pandemic.

We call on the Russian Federation to fully guarantee the right to life and access to healthcare for illegally detained Ukrainians, to provide full and comprehensive access for the international monitoring missions and ICRC representatives, as well as medical workers to the population of the temporarily occupied territories to provide qualified medical examination, treatment, and humanitarian assistance.

The diplomatic note with these demands was transmitted to the Russian side.

We call on the international community to ensure unblocking of the access to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine by Russia for provision of such assistance.



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