As reported by Censor.NET, the lawmaker, who is personally taking part in campaign to block railway tracks used to deliver goods to the Donbas, also disproved statements on the coal shortage at the TPPs situated in the territory of the breakaway "People's Republics" and dwelled on the recent developments on the ground.
"We have blocked three railroad branches. We carried out an inventory at the Sloviansk and Kramatorsk TPPs. It turned out that PPB (Petro Poroshenko Bloc) faction members are telling lies about coal reserves as usual. It's lies because they made statements on coal reserves sufficient only for 2-3 days of operation.
"When we arrived there, it turned out that the reserves at the Kramatorsk TPP could cover 17 days and at the Sloviansk TPP - 30 days. Then they started telling tall tales about rolling power cuts. This is also not true because major part of our energy is generated by the nuclear power plants while these plants (Sloviansk and Kramatorsk TPPs - Ed.) produce negligible quantity of electricity which makes no difference. Furthermore, they [TPPs] just can start consuming gas instead, which we were also told about. It is usual cheating and manipulation while these rascals dare to blackmail people to cover their dirty practices," Semenchenko said.
The MP also commented on statements by Social Policy Minister Andrii Reva about the need to establish dialogue with the blockade participants. According to Semenchenko, the protesters' demands remain intact.
"We demand the release of prisoners. If Reva holds any prisoners, they must be released. If he does not, he should talk to his business partners in the "LPR"/"DPR". Our second demand is to stop this deadly trade. This can be solved through adoption of the law submitted to the Verkhovna Rada. What actually can we talk about? About how they would cease covering smuggling, trafficking weapons and drugs, start searching the trains properly? I do not quite know what to talk to them about, and I think the veterans would be puzzled as well," he said.
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.