Donetsk May 24 – DAN. Kiev reinforces the economic blockade imposed on Donbass instead of reconstructing economic ties with the region, said the DPR envoy to Minsk talks Denis Pushilin.

"Kiev reinforces the economic blockade imposed on Donbass. Since 2014 bans and restrictions on power and water supplies, bank services, state institutions have been in place. In February 2017 railroads were blocked to destroy Republics' economy and to provoke ecological and humanitarian disasters," said his statement seen by DAN.

"Enterprises and their employees have been abandoned by Kiev and the oligarchs who owned them."

A new round of economic blockade of Donbass started in January 2017. Former participants of the offensive blocked railroad between Gorskoye and Zolotoye (LPR territory). The radicals said the aim was to interrupt trade with LPR. Later they blocked Svetlanovo station in the vicinity of Pervomaisk, the railroad tracks in the area of occupied Artyemovsk (DPR) and Yasinovataya-Skotovataya stretch.

Ukrainian Rada extremists supported the “trade blockade”, while radicals said the drive shall be permanent.

On February 27, DPR and LPR Heads Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitskiy warned Kiev that the Republics would put Ukrainian companies under receivership and halt coal supplies to Ukraine if the transport blockade was not lifted by 1 March. As Kiev failed to meet the requirements the external management was introduced at 43 Ukrainian enterprises.

Among the Ukrainian companies are such industrial giants as Enakievo Steel Plant and its Makeyevka branch, Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant, Yasinovsky Coking Chemistry Plant, Dokuchaevsk Flux-Dolomite Complex, Konzern Stirol, DTEK enterprises, DonetskStal Steel Plant, Komsomolets Donbassa mine, Zasyadtko mine, Zuivskaya thermal power station.

Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of ‘Ukrainian choice – People’s Right’ movement, cited Ukrainian Federation of Metallurgists report showing that Donbass blockade will cut Ukraine’s foreign exchange earnings by $2.5 billion. Ukraine’s budget will lose 2.5-3 billion hryvnias.

The halt of coal export from Donbass to Ukraine forced Kiev authorities to declare an emergency in power industry. A number of major enterprises suspended operation.

Poroshenko’s response came only in mid-March as he called an extraordinary meeting of the national security and defense council of Ukraine and sharply criticized radicals’ actions. Though that very day he enacted the council’s decision on full transport blockade of Donbass. *ot