06:33 GMT23 April 2021
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    Russia's envoy to the Ukraine contact group urged Kiev to stop the blockade of Donbass.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow is calling on Kiev to take urgent measures to stop the transport and economic blockade of Donbass, Russia's envoy to the Contact Group on Ukraine Boris Gryzlov said Tuesday.

    "I am calling on Kiev to take immediate effective measures to stop the transport and economic blockade of Donbass. I will remind you that this issue has been raised repeatedly at meetings of the Contact Group," Gryzlov said.

    On February 15, Ukraine’s cabinet convened an extraordinary meeting and introduced a state of emergency in the country's energy sector due to the blockade of coal supplies from Donbass.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled elected President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.


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    blockade, Ukrainian crisis, Boris Gryzlov, Donbass, Ukraine, Russia
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