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Russia urges Ukraine to lift blockade of Donbas — Russia’s ambassador to OSCE

March 27, 2015, 17:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

It is necessary to use any available means to deliver relief aid to Donbas so long as it remains under siege, Andrey Kelin says

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 27 /TASS/. Ukraine should immediately lift the blockade of its Donbas region, Andrey Kelin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to OSCE, said at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Friday.

"It is necessary to use any available means to deliver relief aid to Donbas so long as it remains under siege. A package of measures defines the modalities of full restoration of socio-economic ties, including money transfers for social purposes, the payment of pensions and other benefits; and exercising control over its segment of the banking system. The Kiev government has done nothing out of this list. The situation is only getting worse," Kelin said in a speech published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website.

"Essentials, food and medical supplies are not reaching Donbas. People can cross the disengagement line only for bribes. Ukrainian forces have blown up the last bridge that used to connect the region with the rest of Ukraine near Stanitsa Luhanskaya," Kelin said adding that pensioners had literally used a rope to climb from one populated locality to another.

"Whether Kiev’s delay to restore the region damaged by Ukraine army shelling is politically motivated or caused by the need of cynical economizing, its actions can hardly be justified," Russia’s Permanent Representative said.

"I am going to repeat it once again that the blockade is cutting off Donbas from the rest of Ukraine. By Kiev’s hands, the region is being turned into a ‘frozen conflict’ territory," the Russian diplomat concluded.

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