Donetsk, Apr 11 - DAN. Ukrainian authorities are bluffing the West in a bid to justify the new Donbass blockade which resulted in DPR’s introducing external management at Ukraine-controlled companies, Donetsk experts said.

Political scientist Alena Alexeyeva told Donetsk News Agency that Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko while saying that the blockade had been caused by DPR-introduced external management at Ukrainian companies, lied to the Minsk Agreements guarantor countries in order not to implement Minsk-2.

“They (Poroshenko’s arguments) did not yield any positive result to Ukraine. Germany’s Foreign Ministry denounced (Ukraine’s) actions in a rather categorical form,” the expert said. “The tighter LPR and DPR blockade is not consistent with the idea of restoring economic ties (between Kiev and Donbass Republics). It is an obvious and unambiguous violation of Minsk-2 (Article 8 of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements).”

Alexeyeva said DPR and LPR authorities had done the right thing by transferring Ukrainian companies under the Republics’ jurisdiction. “The transfer of companies under external republican management has prevented the humanitarian crisis in LPR and DPR to a large extent,” she said. “This complies with the letter and spirit of the Minsk agreements,” Alexeyeva said.

Donetsk National University History Department Dean Kirill Cherkashin concurs: Ukrainian authorities did nothing to lift the transport blockade refusing to implement Minsk-2 yet another time.

“The thing is that Ukraine cannot and is not going to implement the articles spelled out in the Minsk agreements. That is why they need all kinds of pretexts to create situations and give the appearance that the talks keep failing through the other side’s fault. While bluffing the West, Poroshenko has no muscle or influence to put radicals in their place,” Cherkashin said. So he follows the principle: take the lead of the movement if you are unable to stop it.”


A new turn in Donbass economic blockade began on 26 December 2016 as a group of former participants in the punitive operation announced that it was launching a trade blockade of DPR and LPR. Active actions followed in January when the radicals blocked railway traffic on Gorskoye-Zolotoye stretch connecting Ukraine with LPR. The blockade then extended to Svetlanovo station in vicinity of Pervomaisk, the railway stretch in Kiev-controlled Artyomovsk area (DPR axis) and Yasinovataya-Skotovataya stretch (DPR axis). Hardline Ukrainian lawmakers supported “the trade blockade” which blockade activists said would be indefinite.

The action caused acute coal shortages in Ukraine. Large enterprises in DPR territory under Ukrainian jurisdiction stopped operation. On 27 February, DPR and LPR authorities warned Ukraine that they would introduce external management at Ukrainian companies and reorient their production to destinations in Russia and elsewhere if Kiev did not remedy the situation by 1 March. Kiev ignored the warning, and DPR introduced external management at 43 companies from 1 March.

There was no reaction from Poroshenko to the Donbass blockade situation until mid-March. On 15 March, he convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council at which he lashed out at Ukrainian radicals blocking the transport links with Donbass, yet approved the transport blockade on the same day, shifting al the blame onto Donetsk and Lugansk. *jk