Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman said speaking at a meeting on the problems of metallurgical industry and energy sector enterprises caused by the blockade of shipments from Ukraine's temporarily occupied territory, Censor.NET reports citing the cabinet press service.
"As a result of the blockade, Ukrainian companies and heating facilities may shut down. This means that such hasty, politicized actions will affect ordinary Ukrainians," the prime minister said. "Limiting supplies and components necessary for the steel industry will tell on ordinary people: some Ukrainian cities will experience heat outages. Electricity supply is in danger."
The energy blockade will undermine the national currency, impede country's economic growth, reduce budget revenues, bring about job cuts and impossibility to implement social programs, Hroisman said.
He noted that the blockaded coal is produced by Ukrainian mines and purchased from companies that are registered in Ukraine and pay taxes to the national budget.
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.
On Feb. 27, separatist websites published a joint statement by the leaders of the so-called "republics" "DPR" and "LPR." They demanded that Kyiv lifted the blockade by March 1, otherwise Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky promised to take over the enterprises that remain Ukraine-run and stop deliveries of coal to Ukraine from temporarily occupied territories.