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KIEV, February 27. /TASS/. The conflict in the east of Ukraine is going to last long, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has said.
"It is a conflict not for a year or two, or even three," Yatsenyuk told Ukrainian television channels in an interview.
Ukraine has lost 20% of its economic potential over the past year due to developments in southeast Ukraine, he went on to say.
"These are the losses of the industrial economy, the losses of what was exported for hard currency," the premier said in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels.
Ukraine also had to build its army anew during the year, the premier said, adding large sums of money were spent on the country’s armed forces.
The year 2015 will be a year of stabilization for Ukraine, Yatsenyuk said.
"In 2016, we expect a gradual recovery in domestic production and demand," the Ukrainian premier said.
Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have fled Ukraine’s embattled southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, launched in mid-April 2014 to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics.