The Kremlin bears full responsibility for Ukraine’s inability to pay social benefits and deliver humanitarian aid to the Donbas, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk stated at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg in Kyiv, November 18, reports Ukrainska Pravda.
“Right now the question of delivering food products and social benefit payments there (Donbas) is solely in the hands of the Kremlin. The Kremlin is responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe threatening the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts,” he said.
According to Yatseniuk, Ukrainian authorities are prevented from delivering humanitarian aid to the territories controlled by the militants.
“As soon as humanitarian aid organized by the Ukrainian government reaches the first checkpoint controlled by the Russian terrorists, it is either blocked or simply looted,” he said.
He pointed out that in the meantime the Ukrainian government has pledged to supply heat and electricity to the Donbas.
“This means that the amounts accrued as social benefits and other payments, as well as grants that must be paid on the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk, will be reduced by the cost of the electricity and gas that are delivered there,” Yatseniuk said.
In addition, he noted that the government wants to begin restoring the Donbas but only after Russia abides by the 12 points of the Minsk Protocol it has signed and agreed to.
“The sooner the Russian troops leave the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk, the sooner the people, who are being held hostage to imperial ambitions, will be able to begin living a normal life,” he said.
Translated by: Anna Mostovych