Ukraine introduces transport blockade against Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has supported the President Petro Poroshenko’s proposal to terminate transport connections between Ukraine and the territories controlled by the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, announced council secretary Oleksandr Turchynov following an emergency meeting.
Exceptions will be made for the delivery of humanitarian supplies, he said.
While submitting his proposal to block transport into the separatist-controlled territories, Poroshenko said that the blockade would be realized with the help of both law enforcement agencies and “mobile groups of volunteers”, first and foremost combatants.
Since the end of February, traffic between the separatist-controlled territories and the rest of Ukraine has been blocked by activists and veterans of Ukraine’s military operation in the Donbass.
The authorities of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics declared that if Kiev does not take necessary steps to unblock transport connections, they would introduce external personnel to manage local Ukrainian enterprises.
The activists continued the blockade, and on March 1, the republics announced the creation of external administrations in Ukrainian enterprises operating on the territories under their control.
Turchinov identified “the forcible seizure of Ukrainian enterprises” as one of the main reasons for official government endorsement of a transport blockade.