Ukraine may stop the blockade of separatist-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but only after the return of Ukrainian assets seized by Russia in the east of the country, Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine’s representative in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on the peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas, said after Wednesday’s meeting in Minsk.
“Only after Ukrainian assets are returned to Ukraine’s legal framework, the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on introducing trade restrictions with regard to certain areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions could be reviewed,” Ukrainian news agency UNIAN quotes Kuchma’s press secretary Darka Olifer.
She also noted that the TCG could make great strides if there was the Normandy Four leaders political will.
In early June, there were reports that the group would consider the lifting of the economic blockade of the occupied areas. According to OSCE representative Martin Sajdik, the proposal was voiced by Leonid Kuchma. It was also supported by the delegation of the separatist ‘republics’.
In March 2017, Ukraine halted the economic contacts with the occupied areas in response to the capture of Ukrainian state-owned enterprises and the introduction of the Russian tax system.