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Transport blockade of Donbass to have serious consequences — Russian diplomat

March 17, 7:30 UTC+3 VIENNA
the Kiev government’s attitude to radical groups that started the blockade, will cause the situation to deteriorate further, Russia’s OSCE envoy said
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VIENNA, March 17. /TASS/. The Kiev government’s decision to cut traffic with the self-proclaimed eastern Ukrainian republics contradicts the Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements and will have negative consequences, Russia’s OSCE envoy said.

"In our opinion, the National Security Council’s decision to completely cut all transportation links with Donbass, will have serious negative consequences. It makes absolutely no sense and openly contradicts the Package of Measures," Alexander Lukashevich said at the OSCE Permanent Council session.

He expressed hope that Kiev will find political will to implement the Minsk agreements, which remain the only basis for reconciliation.

At the same time, the diplomat added, the Kiev government’s attitude to radical groups that started the blockade, will cause the situation to deteriorate further.

"Some of our colleagues are quick to condemn any statements by Donetsk and Lugansk but turn a blind eye to reasons behind them. Against the background of Kiev’s actions, measures taken by representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk appear to be quite logical," he added.

Lukashevich also pointed at the recent controversies surrounding banks with the Russian capital operating in Ukraine, when nationalist activists followed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov’s call to disrupt operations of Russian banks in the country and blocked access to some of their offices.

"This demonstration of legislative chaos in Ukraine should be strongly condemned," he said.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed a decree implementing the National Security and Defense Council’s decision to cut transport links with the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass.

Under the decree, "all movement of goods is suspended until the ceasefire and the withdrawal of weapons are ensured in accordance with the first and second points of the Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements signed on February 12, 2015, and control of the Donbass businesses, where external administrations were introduced, is given back to Ukraine.".

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