17:48 GMT +323 May 2019
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    Miners leaving the Chelyuskintsev mine in Donetsk

    Kiev 'Bans' Crimea and Donbass from Exploiting Their Mineral Wealth

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    Ukraine's State Service of Geology and Mineral Resources has revoked 422 permits for the use of mineral resources in the territories of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, as well as Russia's Crimea.

    The decision was reached May 19, but only publicized in the media on Wednesday, Ukraine's Dialog.ua reported.

    The State Service of Geology and Mineral Resources explained that the permits were revoked in connection with the fact that the enterprises carrying out mining and other operations failed to provide the agency with statistical reports, which according to state law is required every thirty days.

    The industries whose permits were revoked include the Donetsk and Lugansk coal mining firms Ordzhonikidzeugol, Shahterskantratsit, Torezantratsit, Luganskugol, Donbasantratsit, and others. 

    In Crimea, permits were revoked for the wine and cognac maker Bakhchisaray, the Crimean Soda Plant, the Malaklava Mine Group, the nonalcoholic beer plant 'Crimea', the Simferopol International Airport, and the Kerch Metallurgical Complex.

    Experts note that Crimean firms will be virtually unaffected by the decision, due to their continuing incorporation into the Russian economic and regulatory environment. In practice, the DPR and LPR, which already suffer from an economic and humanitarian blockade, are also little affected by the Kiev-based regulatory body's decision.

    Andrei Pugrin, Ukrainian activist and Chairman of the People's Soviet of the DPR, stated that "sooner or later, the [blockade] will be qualified as a war crime and a crime against humanity, and someone will be held accountable, because this decision contradicts all norms of humanitarian and international law." 

    Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that the blockade will remain in place until Kiev restores control over the border with Russia, noting that "Kiev will not subsidize and assist the murderous militants and help keep them afloat." Poroshenko echoed the comments of Poroshenko Bloc head Yuriy Lutsenko, who called the militia-held Donbass a "cancerous tumor."

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    Tags:
    geology, permits, natural resources, resources, mining, Ukrainian State Service of Geology and Mineral Resources, Russia, Crimea, Donbass, Ukraine
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