Donetsk, Jun 20 - DAN. Ukrainian envoy to the Contact Group Leonid Kuchma’s words on the conditions to lift the Donbass economic blockade sound like populism, Donetsk People’s Republic parliament speaker Vladimir Bidyovka said on Wednesday.

“The conditions for lifting the Donbass economic blockade announced by Leonid Kuchma at the Minsk talks are not constructive; they rather look like standard populist remarks,” Bidyovka said in a statement received by the Donetsk News Agency.

Earlier on Wednesday, Kuchma said that Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council could consider lifting trade restrictions against the Donbass Republics “only after they return Ukrainian assets to the Ukrainian legal fold.”

“The opinion voiced by a former Ukrainian president is mere words, because oligarchic interests are behind everybody who is involved in that country’s politics this way or another . I don’t think that lifting the blockage is really on their agenda,” the DPR parliament speaker said.

He reminded Ukraine that the transfer of industrial companies in the DPR into the Republic's legal framework was a forced measure taken in response to the toughening of the Donbass blockade.

The Donbass economic blockade began on November 15, 2014 as Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko signed a decree to terminate the payment of welfare benefits including pensions in the conflict zone. The banking sector suspended operation as well. The DPR and LPR authorities called the decision “an act of genocide and ruin of people.” Ukraine launched the Donbass transport blockade on January 21, 2015 by introducing special entry/exit regime on a limited number of highways.*jk