KIEV, July 31 (RIA Novosti) – The Kiev authorities are planning to provide eastern Ukraine with financial assistance if government troops gain control over local cities, Prime Minster Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday.
“We are continuing to provide social benefits to residents of the territories under our control. Every city [controlled by the militia] will immediately get a whole package of financial and social support after it is freed by the Ukrainian military,” Yatsenyuk said.
Kiev’s military operation against independence supporters has had a negative impact on the economic situation in Ukraine as eastern regions have stopped paying taxes, the prime minister added.
Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak said that due to the crisis in the country and the military operations in the eastern regions, the country’s budget may be $2.5 billion short at end of the year, if the government does not find reserves to cover its debt.
Moscow has described the ongoing military action as a punitive operation and has repeatedly called on Kiev to put an immediate end to the bloodshed. According to the latest UN report, the conflict between pro-Kiev forces and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine has claimed the lives of 1,129 civilians since mid-April, with another 3,442 injured.