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 Donbas blockade may entail growth of tariffs, - Vice Premier Rozenko

Further blocking of coal supplies from the Donbas occupied territories may lead to an increase in utility tariffs for housing and communal services as well as to an economic downturn.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko said on air of 112 Ukraine, Censor.NET reports.

"If blockade participants want us to purchase coal in foreign markets by the Rotterdam plus formula and pay more than 3,000 hryvnia ($110) [for a ton], they have to say this will make the current electricity price grow by at least 30 percent. Let them come out and say that the blockade will entail an increase in tariffs for housing and communal services by 30 percent and so on. This will be an honest talk," Rozenko said.

See more: Activists seeking to stop trade with occupied Donbas start closing highways, - Civil blockade HQ. PHOTOS

He also emphasized the need for negotiations with blockade participants.

"I am all in favor of talks. It is necessary to explain the situation to the public, it is necessary to talk to the people who organized the blockade. For I am convinced that most people are used without their knowing of the situation ... Today, Russia is using them to fight against the Ukrainian state," the deputy premier said.

"The excellent indicators that we had at the end of the year in terms of GDP growth, growth of the Ukrainian economy may deteriorate very rapidly if we have these disastrous effects of the blockade and the closure of Ukrainian enterprises. I am convinced that the government will not allow these social explosions and consequences," he concluded.

Read more: "Ukraine's metal industry can lose 300 thousand jobs. 300 thousand people will become unemployed," - Poroshenko voices threats posed by full-scale Donbas blockade

Earlier, the Ministry of Energy and Coal Mining initiated the introduction of emergency regime in the energy sector citing the cessation of anthracite supply.

Ukrenerho stated the anthracite stocks at thermal power plants would be enough to ensure the stable operation of Ukraine's power system during a 40-day period.

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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