Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Hroisman told journalists as he was paying a visit to Kharkiv Machinery Plant FED PJSC, Censor.NET reports citing the government's press office.
Hroisman believes the energy blockage can make the country spend its coal reserves stockpiled for the winter season just in a few weeks.
"There is another major factor: if Ukraine's metal industry, which forms 12 percent of the country's GDP and 20 percent of currency earnings, ceases operating... this would depreciate the national currency in the long term; this industry employs about 300,000 people who make contributions to the local budgets and receive wages. Such actions can lead to very strong devastating consequences," the prime minister stressed.
Hroisman noted that he is always open to a dialogue.
"I am definitely ready to engage in constructive interaction and strongly condemn smuggling in the country and will keep fighting against it," the prime minister 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.
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