Donetsk, Dec 17 - DAN. Moscow does not intend to decrease the level of support to Donbass; it will boost the aid, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his online press conference on Thursday.

“As before, Russia will support Donbas,” Putin said. “We’ll even boost our aid to support production and the solution of welfare and infrastructure issues.”

Kiev launched armed aggression against the DPR and the LPR in April 2014 as their residents had not supported the government overthrow in Ukraine. Ukraine began the economic blockade of the region in November 2014. Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko signed a degree to terminate the payment of welfare benefits including pensions in the conflict zone, and a ban was placed on bank services for Donbass residents and enterprises. At present, the Donbass Republic and Ukraine do not trade with each other and have no rail and air links or postal communication.

Russia has been providing comprehensive assistance to the region since August 2014. It has sent more than 100 humanitarian aid convoys to Donetsk and Lugansk which delivered more than 52,000 tons of cargo including construction materials to repair conflict-ravaged facilities, food and medications. On Thursday morning, a Russian humanitarian aid convoy delivered some 19 tons of medications and medical equipment to Donetsk.*jk