20 Sep 2019 17:18

Ukrainian FM sets return of national enterprises as precondition for Donbas blockade relief

KYIV. Sept 20 (Interfax) - Removal of the economic blockade from Donbas is preconditioned on the return of enterprises based there to Ukraine, while the government plans to replace its order on permitted goods with a list of prohibited ones, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said.

"We will resume pension payouts. We are already being paid again for services we are providing, i.e., that side is paying us for water. We are about to replace the order regarding the list of goods that people are allowed to take across the contact line with the one stating what will be prohibited for transportation. This will definitely be done, but it requires certain steps. Because right now there is the so-called blockade in place, which was imposed by the NSDC (National Security and Defense Council) resolution, and changing it would take another NSDC resolution," Prystaiko said in an interview with the Europeyska Pravda (European Truth) news website, published on Friday.

The blockade is not being canceled, "its cancelation is preconditioned on the return of our enterprises," he said.

"But, a blockade of enterprises is one thing, and a blockade of, say, consumer goods, for our goods, is quite another. Even from the standpoint of the economy, why can't we sell our goods there? Let their shelves be stacked with milk under the Ukrainian flag, not the Russian or Belarusian one, right? And there are other elements as well. The bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska, prisoner exchange, etc. - all these are elements of the 'Zelenesky plan' that is currently in the making," Prystaiko said.