Ukraine halts trade with Crimea

Ukrainian premier Yatsenyuk says his country will halt trade with Crimea except vital aid

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk holds a folder before delivering a speech to deputies of Parliament during the annual report of the government on December 11, 2015.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in a TV on Wednesday that the Ukraine will halt trade by mid-January with Crimea which was occupied by Russia in April 2014.

Yatsenyuk announced that his government will halt all trade except for the delivery of humanitarian aid and "socially important foodstuffs."

Last month in Crimea an unknown group of people destroyed transformers and pylons to Crimea, leaving 2 million people in the peninsula without power.

Activists advocating a blockade of the region hampered repair works until Ukraine resumed supplies last week. 

"We are in the process of resuming energy supplies," Igor Boska, regional head of Ukrainian energy utility Ukrenergo, said previously.

But Yatsenyuk said that there has been no decision yet on whether Ukraine will resume electricity supplies to Crimea.

The Russian Energy Ministry has said that electrical supply to Crimea have resumed.

Crimea normally receives at least 70 percent of its electricity from Ukraine. On December 3, Crimea received its first supplies of electricity from Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the opening of an undersea power bridge across the Kerch Strait.

Following the attack on the power lines, pro-Ukranian activists, including many ethnic Tatars who oppose Crimea’s annexation, have been preventing repair workers from accessing the damaged pylons in Kherson, a southern region in the Ukrainian mainland .

After negotiations Tatar leader Lenur Islamov said the engineers had been allowed to continue their work.

"We have allowed [them] to switch the line on," he told the 112 television channel.

TRTWorld and agencies