Statement by Denis Pushilin on economic blockade of DPR by Ukraine

Since April 2014, by the decree of the President of Ukraine No. 405/2014, Kiev has introduced the regime of “antiterrorist operation,” as well as the economic and transport blockade.

On September 5, 2014 (after the defeat at Ilovaysk), Ukraine agreed to grant a Special Status to “certain regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions” and to adopt a programme of economic revival and restoration of the region’s vital activity.

Instead, by decree of the President of Ukraine on November 14, 2014, state enterprises, institutions, organizations were withdrawn from the territory of Donbass, and the work of the banking system was discontinued. Demonstratively, the whole world was shown that this is a form of fighting.

Simultaneously, Ukraine demanded to close the border with Russia.

Everyone understands perfectly what this should have led to, with the example of known historical events: to the destruction of the dissenting part of the own people.

On February 12, 2015 (after the defeat in the Debaltsevo district), Ukraine signed a Package of measures that brought together all the main obligations of the parties and allocated special directions. The fourth paragraph of this document provided for the launch of a Law on Special Status. A Special Status presupposed the granting of a special economic regime with benefits for residents, peculiarities of taxation. In the paragraph point Ukraine undertook to restore social and economic ties, the payment of social benefits and pensions, the banking system in “certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.”

Despite this, Kiev made no steps towards, blockades and deprivations only intensified. No paragraph of the Package of measures provided for the parties to conduct any aggressive actions in the form of an economic, transport, trade blockade, the severance of economic ties, the disconnection of life support facilities from the supply of communal resources.

But when radical Ukrainian groups blocked the railroad tracks, Poroshenko pretended that he was trying to disperse them, and then legalized their activities, we were forced to take measures to preserve the city-forming enterprises of the fuel and energy, oil and gas and coal industries, because they could not be idle without supplies of raw materials anymore, as the production cycle cannot be stopped. In the event of a shutdown of enterprises, it will be impossible to start them. And this is a ruined economy, an ecological and humanitarian catastrophe, which Poroshenko needed so much and people who make billions out of it.

The owners of these enterprises do not reside on the territory of their location and cannot fully perform their duties. Moreover, the owners made attempts to withdraw labor collectives and stop production (there are copies of orders).

We did not allow this because of the timely introduction of provisional administrations. At the same time, property owners have not lost their property rights, and the objects of law themselves are under the strict control and are used for the benefit of the local population.

We are pleased that representatives of the Foreign Ministry of Russia, France, Germany, the European Parliament and other foreign politicians openly condemned the blockade of Donbass.

Ukraine must stop actions aimed at blocking economic and transport freedom, and begin to implement the Package of measures it signed, and speak with us on equal terms. Then there will be no need to introduce temporary administrations.

For our part, since February 15, 2015, we have been ready to discuss issues related to the enactment of the Law on Special Status and the regime of “certain regions”, as well as other issues of the Package of measures. We have repeatedly submitted our proposals and are ready to repeat all this.

Let me remind you that with the predecessor of the OSCE coordinator Tony Frisch in the humanitarian subgroup, the measures to implement paragraph 8 of the Package of measures were substantively discussed, and preparations were being made to restore the payment of pensions through an international mechanism, kindly proposed by Frau Merkel. As a key measure, the cancellation of decisions on the withdrawal of banking institutions from the territory of the Republic was envisaged. However, all this was washed out of the agenda, and now we are forced to discuss the new problems connected with the worsening of the economic situation through the fault of Ukraine.

Ukraine, continuing to oppress us, demands the return enterprises under their control, to stop resisting military aggression and to give back the border. How can we agree with this? Lift the blockade, cancel ‘ATO,’ and then we will be ready to discuss the return of enterprises under the jurisdiction of Ukraine.

Denis Pusilin, permanent plenipotentiary representative of the DPR to the negotiations of the Contact group in Minsk, Chairman of the DPR People’s Council

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