February 28, 2017 – Fort Russ NewsRiaNovosti – Translation by James Harmon
Deputy Minister of Ukraine for the DNR and LNR territories Georgi Tuka believes that the organizers of the trade embargo of Donbass should be punished.
“Those people who are now blocking railway transport, I would divide into three categories. The first category, those who organized this – although now they tell us that ‘we do not organize, we only support…’ these are the people who organized the bloackade and these illegal measure, and they must meet the current legislation, even if they are the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada.” – while interacting with reporters on channel 112 Ukraine.
The second group, Tuka associates with Verkhovna Rada deputy Semen Semenchenko, the notorious founder of “Donbas” battalion. According to him, this group should also be held accountable under the law.
However, the deputy minister said that with the rank and file soldiers who had joined the blockade, because they do not understand the situation, it is necessary to explain the situation so they understand properly.
“And the third group, which makes up a large part of those who directly participated in the blockade – it is real honest men who have defended us with their lives and health, with them we need to openly talk. They are disoriented and misunderstand.”, said Tuka.
In late January, a group of former members of the military operation in the Donbass, including deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, blocked several sites of freight railway connections with the non-kiev controlled territory of Donbass. They stated that, in their opinion, any trade with the breakaway republics is illegal, and all product transportation is therefore smuggled. The blockade has led to shortages of coal supplies, because of which the Ukrainian authorities were forced to introduce emergency measures in the energy sector.
On Monday, the head of DNR and LNR, Igor Plotnitskiy and Alexander Zakharchenko said that the self-proclaimed republic will cease to supply coal to Kiev in the continuation of the blockade of the railway. As noted in a statement, if the blockade is not removed on 00.00 on March 1 that all enterprises Ukrainian jurisdiction, operating in the DNR and LNR, external control will be introduced.