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 "This crisis is due to an external factor, on part of Russia," - Zubko on Donbas blockade

Deputy Prime Minister Hennadii Zubko believes the crisis that has surfaced over the blockade of supplies from terrorist-held areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including anthracite coal, has been provoked by Russia.

He said it on air of ICTV channel, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny.

"This crisis is due to an external factor, on part of Russia," he said.

According to Zubko, Russia is particularly interested in the shutdown of Ukrainian enterprises in government-controlled area, caused by the shortage of raw materials supplied from the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone, which could entail unrest and growing discontent among population of the industrial regions.

Read more: Expert says Ukraine failed to become independent of coal supplies from Donbas over three years, proposes alternative

"Who will benefit from jeopardizing the energy supply not only in Avdiivka but almost all over Ukraine? I can tell you. In the first place, it is Russia which wants us to buy Russian coal, and we understand this will be a kind of compulsion... This is how Russia uses our Ukrainian patriots for achieving its political and strategic goals," the vice premier added.

According to Zubko, one of Ukraine's strategic objectives is giving up the use anthracite coal.

Read more: Activists shut down Yasynuvata-Kostiantynivka highway, - Donbas trade blockade HQ

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.Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n427797