Verkhovna Rada Deputy from the party “Samopomich” semen Semenchenko said about the approach of the second phase of the blockade of Donbass. According to him, the first phase was completed successfully: Ukraine ceased to buy coal from DPR and LPR and now it gets in the US (though for 113 dollars per ton, which is twice more expensive Donbass). Although detailed plans for the next phase of the blockade Semenchenko did not disclose, but noted that the border with Russia have appeared several camps of nationalists.
The ex-the battalion commander “Donbass” believes that the blockade of the unrecognized republics, legalized in March of this year by the decree of Peter Poroshenko, has already brought tangible results. Apart from a slight growth of GDP by the success he reckons the strengthening of the national currency against the dollar (the rate fell to two hryvnia), as well as a reduction in the consumption of anthracite. Semenchenko noted that the main merit of the blockade — the termination of funding of the DNI and LC. According to the Deputy, his team had a good rest over the summer, gain strength and ready for further achievements.
Given the emergence of nationalists from the Russian border, it is not excluded that the next step would be to try and stop the trade between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The intentions of radicals can cause serious damage to the economy Square. In 2016, the trade turnover between the countries amounted to 10.2 billion U.S. dollars. However, Ukraine is trade not only with Russia but also with the republics, although officially, on paper, they do not. Not so long ago the Deputy Minister of Ukraine on the temporarily occupied territories and displaced persons, the George Tooke said in an interview with European Newspapers that the border with the DNI and LC daily cross trucks with goods worth 70-80 million. It is more than a billion hryvnia per year. The benefit of this is last but not least are the security forces, which should prevent illegal smuggling. Ukraine supplies in the unrecognized Republic of almost everything, not just food and clothing. Here we are talking about household appliances that can get in the Donetsk and Lugansk only through intermediaries. As soon as nationalists staged a blockade that stopped the trade. Over time, however, was found an alternative way: the import of Ukrainian goods in the DNI and LC across the border with Russia. Thus, Kiev killed at once two hares: supported the radicals in exchange for their loyalty, and continued to trade with uncontrolled territories.
“MK” tried to figure out what may be the second phase of the blockade and what response to expect from the official Kiev.
Denis DENISOV, Director of the Institute for peace initiatives and conflict
— It turns out quite logical and natural continuation of the absurd decision of the Ukrainian authorities on support of the blockade at the official level. Although now there is hope that the current government refuses to support the nationalists. It is possible that the so-called volunteer battalions try to completely stop trade and passenger flow between Russia and Ukraine. It is a violation of all norms of international law, such arbitrariness and is punishable by Ukrainian law.
Andrew BUZAROV, an expert on international legal issues (Ukraine):
— I don’t think we are talking about strengthening the blockade of Donbass, as there is already block nothing but passenger traffic and insignificant freight. Most likely, we are talking about obstruction of import of coal from Russia to Ukraine. The thing is that as soon as I stopped the importation of coal uncontrolled Kiev territories of Donbass, it is not hit hard by the country, as continued trade with Russia. If now will be closed and the shopping channel, it could be a serious blow to the energy sector of Ukraine. In this case, you will need to find alternate energy supplies, for example, from the United States or other countries. Kiev’s actions will proceed from that. If an alternative is found, the action Semenchenko will be seen as a political PR of his party. I believe that power does not prevent the radical or try to stop them.