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Ukrainian president tells government to estimate losses from Donbass blockade

March 16, 4:30 UTC+3 KIEV
"We must make public the price Ukraine will pay for the irresponsible decisions on blocking Donbass." Poroshenko told Ukrainian TV channels
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© Mikhail Palinchak/TASS

KIEV, March 16. /TASS/. President Pyotr Poroshenko of Ukraine on Wednesday told the country’s government to assess the losses the national economy has sustained because of the blockade of Donbass by the radical ultra-nationalists.

"I told the cabinet and the finance ministry to compute the losses from the Donbass blockade," he told Ukrainian TV channels. "We must make public the price Ukraine will pay for the irresponsible decisions on blocking Donbass."

Poroshenko also voiced the conviction it was exactly because of the blockade mounted by the radicals that Kiev lost contact with the manufacturing facilities located there, which went over to the East-Ukrainian self-defense forces as a result.

As for the de facto blockade of the areas of Donbass outside the Kiev government’s control, he described it as a "decision on the provisional severing of transportation" and a forced measure to prevent trade with the manufacturing facilities that have fallen under the control of the unrecognized east-Ukrainian republics.

As of March 1, the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk republics placed all the Ukrainian factories operating on their territories under external administration on the background of the continuing blockade of Donbass on the part of Ukrainian radicals, who obviously have secured tacit consent from the Kiev government.

Earlier on Wednesday Ukraine’s national security and defense council passed a decision to suspend provisionally all transportation to and from the areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions uncontrolled by the Kiev government.

Council Secretary Alexander Turchinov said the ban would stay in effect until the implementation of provisions one and two of the complex of measures for fulfilling the Minsk accords of February 12, 2015 - the ceasefire and the pullback of weapons.

One more demand is the reverting of the factories, which the authorities of the unrecognized republics have placed under external administration, to Ukrainian jurisdiction.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said the ban would not affect the trips by civilians who still could carry personal cargoes to and from the territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.

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