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Ukrainian politician says Kiev turns deaf ear to public pleas to end Donbass blockade

A Ukrainian politician believes the blockade of Donbass has doomed the country's investment attractiveness

KIEV, March 27. /TASS/. Kiev that has authorized the blockade of Donbass is turning a deaf ear to appeals from world organizations to stop it, the leader of the Ukrainian Choice - the Right of the People public movement, Viktor Medvedchuk, said on Monday.

"The UN calls on Ukraine to urgently simplify pension receiving procedures for the residents of Donbass. But Kiev, that has legitimized the blockade of the region, is turning a deaf ear to appeals either from its citizens or from world’s institutions," Medvedchuk said on his Twitter.

Earlier, he said different kinds of blockades targeting Donbass are in fact aimed at instigating hatred in the society and are fraught with undermining the unity of the country. "Unfortunately, UN officials show more humanity and are concerned about the problems facing residents of regions not under Kiev’s control way more than most of Ukrainian politicians who intentionally prevent reintegration of Donbass," the politician said.

He believes the blockade of Donbass has doomed the investment attractiveness of Ukraine. "Investing money in enterprises of the country in which radicals and extremists are having the upper hand, while the authorities turn a blind eye to their outrage is at least thoughtless. And this means that we may shortly expect ‘a mass exodus of investors’," he forecasted.

The politician is confident that the blockade continues against common sense and logic, as the shutting down of Ukrainian enterprises in the regions not under Kiev’s control will slash the number of people supporting reintegration of Donbass.

The blockade of Donbass

In late January, Ukrainian radical activists blocked railway lines leading to the Donbass territory not controlled by Kiev citing the need to combat smuggling.

In response, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics announced that on March 1, external administrations would be introduced at all Ukrainian-owned enterprises so they could continue to operate. Since their products could not be delivered to Ukraine, the two republics decided to search for new trade partners.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko condemned the blockade saying it was inflicting damage on the country’s economy. However, on March 15, the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) made a decision to cut all transport links with Donbass thus fulfilling the radicals’ demand.

Ukraine’s Finance Ministry has reviewed forecasts for the country's GDP growth due to the blockade of the Donbass region, downgrading it from 2.8% to 1.9%.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board of Directors has withdrawn discussion of an anti-crisis program for Ukraine from its agenda as time is needed to calculate consequences of Kiev’s blockade of Donbass.