In the first quarter of 2020, the overall humanitarian situation in the occupied Donbas improved, but the coronavirus pandemic will increase the instability of the region. This is stated in the report of the UN Food Security Cluster (FSC).
"The situation in the occupied territories has shown signs of improvement in terms of reducing the number of civilian casualties, improving at checkpoints, food and economic security, access to health care and reducing the need for humanitarian assistance," the document says.
The organization stated that quarantine measures due to coronavirus infection led to the closure of communication line affecting about 300 000 people (10% of the inhabitants of occupied Donbas), who rely on Ukrainian pensions as their main source of income. This has affected the economic security and well-being of the region.
The FSC noted that the coronavirus and the pandemic-affected economy will increase instability in the region.
Earlier the Council of the European Union has decided to extend the economic sanctions against the Russian Federation for a further six months, until 31 January 2021, the Council's press service reports.
On 19 June 2020, the latest assessment of the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements was conducted at the video conference of the Council's members. Taking into account problems with their full implementation, EU leaders agreed to renew the economic sanctions against Russia.
Such restrictive measures were introduced in 2014 in view of Russia’s destabilizing actions against Ukraine: they target the financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as the area of dual‑use goods.
The sanctions limit access to EU primary and secondary capital markets for certain Russian banks and companies and prohibit forms of financial assistance and brokering towards Russian financial institutions.