Donetsk, Apr 20 - DAN. The Donbass economic blockade imposed by Ukraine deprived residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics of various welfare payments worth over 11 billion hryvnas, DPR representative in the Contact Group subgroup on humanitarian issues, the Republic’s ombudswoman Darya Morozova said at a press briefing at the Donetsk News Agency on Tuesday.

“The Donbass economy suffered a terrible blow as Ukraine imposed an absolutely illegitimate and inhuman economic blockade on the LPR and the DPR; as a result, hundreds of thousands of Donbass residents were illegally deprived of all welfare payments and pensions whose sum reaches over 11 billion hryvnas,” Morozova said.

Ukraine launched the Donbass economic blockade on November 15, 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. The DPR and LPR authorities called the decision “an act of genocide and ruin of people.”

Article 8 of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, dated February 12, 2015, envisions definition of modalities of full resumption of socio-economic ties, including pension payments, and reset of the banking system.*jk