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 Interior Minister Avakov critisizes "DPR/LPR" blockade: People will be left destitute

The blockade of the occupied Donbas is a harm to Ukraine.

This was announced by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov in an interview to Interfax-Ukraine, Censor.NET reports.

Avakov said that the blockade is dividing Ukraine into two camps: the western regions of the country support the activities, while the eastern ones are against it. The minister says this situation feeds "someone's ego, some political position."

He said that the blockade activities leave about 300,000 mine workers without work. "Is this what you call 'liberating the Donbas'?" he asks.

See more: Donbas blockade supporters put up tent near Presidential Administration. PHOTOS+VIDEO

Avakov also reminded of 36 billion hryvnia (about $1.33 billion) paid to the state budget by enterprises on the occupied areas. He says that "no one knows what the exchange rate will be" if these funds are withdrawn from the state budget.

"What should we do with the people who will be left destitute?" the minister asked.

On Jan. 25, anti-terrorist operation (ATO) veterans blocked the Luhansk-Popasna haul, launching a trade blockade of the occupied Donbas areas. The movement of 12 trains with a total of 700 cars has been barred.

Later, Deputy Minister for the Occupied Territories and IDPs Heorhii Tuka said the decision to launch trade blockade was extra-legal. Minister for the temporarily occupied territories and IDPs Vadym Chernysh spoke against possible ban on commodities delivery across the contact line in the Donbas: "We need to be able to deliver coal, otherwise we will face problems throughout the country."

On Feb. 2, participants of the trade blockade barred another railroad track near Bakhmut.


   
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