MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the Ukrainian authorities bear responsibility for the situation in which Donbass residents found themselves in. Responding to a statement by his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto about the situation in Donbass, Lavrov stressed that humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine emerged after the decisions made by former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko to impose a blockade on the territory not controlled by Kiev, while the incumbent Ukrainian authorities are not doing anything to change the situation.
"I want to say a couple of things from the point of view of ordinary people who live there [in Donbass]," Haavisto told a press conference after talks with Lavrov. "I recently visited the territory of Lugansk and saw there, for instance, old women who find it really hard to cross the border [contact line between the Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic] for food or pensions. The situation for ordinary people there is not good at all," he added.
Lavrov in turn noted that "old women seen by Mr Minister crossing the contact line for food, are forced to do so because three years ago, [former Ukrainian] President Poroshenko imposed a full trade, economic and transport blockade on Donbass, and [current] President Zelensky cannot lift this blockade," the Russian foreign minister said.