Ukrainian government intimidates with consequences of trade blockade Russia-occupied Donbas: power blackout, devaluation, $2 bln losses

Ukraine may lose up to $2 billion and the national currency exchange rate will weaken due to the blockade of Russia-occupied Donbas, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.

If the blockade fails to be stopped, Ukrainian metallurgy may lose up to 300,000 jobs, according to the Ukrainian president.

”300,000 people will lose their jobs. The state will lose up to $2 billion in foreign exchange earnings with all the consequences for the hryvnia exchange rate,” he said.

Ukrainian Cabinet at its extraordinary meeting February 15 decided to introduce a state of emergency on the electricity market, providing for cuts in consuming anthracite coal to ensure stable operations of the country`s energy grid. According to the decree, the decision to introduce emergency measures has been taken in connection with the blockade of anthracite type steam coal supplies and in order to ensure reliable, unhindered, and stable operation of Ukraine`s united energy grid, preventing any imbalance between production and consumption of electricity.

See also: Ukrainian soldiers support the trade blockade between Ukraine and Russian occupied Donbas, Ukrainian government tries to undo the blockade

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman says there will be no alternative to anthracite coal produced in occupied areas in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in the next 1-3 years.

”In the mid-term outlook – one, two, three years – we`ve got no alternative to anthracite coal. I think everybody is aware of this, but perhaps someone has another goal – to send Ukraine into the depths of despair,” he said at a government meeting on Tuesday, February 21.

This statement is very strange because just in 2015 Poland was ready to sell its hard coal stockpiles to Ukraine.

“There is a coal deficit in Ukraine. We are working on selling our excess coal there,” Polish development minister Morawiecki told reporters.

But Ukrainian government gave preference to coal from mines in Russian-occupied Donbas. Officially Ukrainian government pays to coal mining companies in Ukraine owned by pro-Russian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. All financial payments between oligarch companies and workers on the occupied territories are under the law of so-called separatists’ Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

See also: Ukrainian government raised electricity price by 30% from March 1, 2017, Russia-occupied Donbas continues to receive electricity for free

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