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Kremlin says Kiev to blame for Donbass authorities’ decision to nationalize industries

March 01, 12:19 UTC+3

The Kremlin spokesman avoided offering any comment if the Russian market might open up for the products of the companies in question after their nationalization by the Lugansk and Donetsk authorities

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© Mikhail Pochuev/TASS

KRASNOYARSK, March 1. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics have in fact been rejected by Kiev, so their decision to take local Ukrainian industries under control is easy to understand, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

"We are witnesses to a situation where regions rejected by their own state have found themselves in a still worse position amid tight blockade by the extremists. For this reason one can understand to a certain extent the latest actions taken by the leaders of these regions, rejected by the state. There are the lives of several million people at stake. These people will have to survive somehow," Peskov said.

He avoided offering any comment if the Russian market might open up for the products of the companies in question after their nationalization by the Lugansk and Donetsk authorities.

Russia helps easing tensions in Ukraine

Russia’s influence on the unrecognized republics in the southeast of Ukraine is not limitless, but Moscow will continue implying efforts in assisting with the conflict settlement, Peskov said.

"Russia has been and will be doing everything possible to help ease tensions in the region since all of this are the links in one chain and integral elements of the settlement process," Peskov told journalists.

"Unfortunately, each step of such nature on behalf of Ukraine distances further from the final aim of the settlement and this is why Russia will certainly continue exercising its influence, which it has, but this influence is not limitless," Peskov added.

On January 25 so-called volunteer battalions enjoying support from a number of Ukrainian parliament members blocked railways to stop trains carrying coal from the areas of Donbass beyond Kiev’s control to Ukraine. As a result the country has faced an acute shortage of coal. On February 15 the authorities in Kiev had to impose a state of emergency in the energy industry for a period of one month but at the same time failed to take resolute measures to terminate the blockade.

Coal and raw materials shortages have suspended the operation of the Alchevsk Iron and Steel Works and the Avdeyevka Coke and Chemical Plant, the Yenakiyevo Iron and Steel Works and Krasnodonugol mines, affiliated with the Metinvest group. The Dnepropetrovsk Iron and Steel Works is on the brink of complete stoppage.

On February 27 the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics came out with a joint statement to declare a forced measure to put all Ukrainian enterprises operating in their territories under control starting from March 1 in order to maintain their operation and preserve jobs.

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