The Head of the DPR commented on the statement on the ultimatum regarding the blockade executed by Ukrainian radicals.
"Our joint statement with the LPR Head, containing the requirement to lift the blockade, was published earlier. I would like to stress that it is not only about unblocking transport connections, but also about re-registration of all the Ukrainian enterprises functioning in our territory in the legal framework of the Donetsk People's Republic. The deadline is given till midnight of March 1. If it is not done by the owners, then all these enterprises will pass under our control," stated Alexander Zakharchenko.
The Head of State emphasized that suspension of Yenakiyevo steel works and some other enterprises had stirred the Republic into such a step. The blockade of railway connection introduced by Ukrainian radicals compelled enterprises to curtail productions.
"We cannot leave thousands of people without working places and means of existence, plants should be relaunched. Therefore, this decision was made. It concerns all the business facilities which have not been registered in the DPR legal framework: from stadiums to hotels," emphasized the Head of State.
Besides, Alexander Zakharchenko informed that on February 27 deputies of the DPR People's Council would gather for an emergency plenary session for legislative settlement of the enterprises' passing under the Republican jurisdiction.
"I hope, today deputies will adopt amendments to the Tax Code which will allow to carry out the procedure of the enterprises' re-registration on legal grounds," he said.
Concerning further prospects of business facilities, the Head of State noted that all of them would be subordinated to the Republic's relevant ministries. Besides, a separate entity will be established for coordination of the industrial enterprises' work, as the entire production cycle will be re-arranged to meet the Russian Federation market's requirements.
"This decision was growing ripe for a long time. More than once I was asked how we could let some enterprises' owners pay taxes to Ukraine while operating in our territory. I always said that we would do everything at the proper time. Now this time for action has come. There is enormous work to be done. In the very short term we will have to reconstruct the economy of the entire region, to replace sales markets for industrial giants completely. At the moment, our main objective is to provide these enterprises' workers with employment and a respectable salary. A special centre was established for this purpose by my order. Among other, it includes trade-union organizations working on protection of workers' rights. I think, we will provision about 70% of the budget thanks to steady operation of these industrial facilities. Of course, it won't happen already tomorrow, time is needed. However, such a step will be of a serious financial support for our budget," said the Head of State. In his opinion, it will take up to two months to launch the enterprises under the Republican jurisdiction, that is taking into account the assistance of Russia.
Answering journalists' questions on the Ukrainian party's expected reaction to this decision, Donbass Leader said that he was waiting for quite a rough reaction.
"I think that panic will begin in Kiev. The 1st of March may be called the Day of 'Farewell to Ukraine'. Ukrainian authorities were hopeful that, once having introduced a blockade, they will make us suffer. But they were deeply mistaken: we are not the party needing Ukrainian coal, we are not in the need for scrap metal, but they are the ones needing all this. And when they state that they will block road transportation as well, they forget that we can declare a blockade too. We can not only hold off their products, but the point of utmost importance is that we won't let in freights coming from their side. We don't need Ukraine, but Ukraine needs us. The blockade is a huge mistake of Poroshenko. He finished badly! Ukraine has been 'training' our economy with the most arduous trials since 2014; now our economy is stronger than the Ukrainian one. We don't care whether he will manage to take his radicals away from the rails, or won't. If you don't want coal, you may freeze; we will find where to sell it. We hold no interest in trade with Ukraine already, therefore, they cannot dictate their terms. And they won't receive our coal any more. The situation is being changed fundamentally – now Ukraine is under the blockade executed by the DPR and LPR," he said.
The Head of the Republic stressed that he hadn't received any offers or statements from the Ukrainian side on this occasion so far. He also acknowledged that he could hardly believe in volunteer passage of Ukrainian enterprises under the DPR jurisdiction.
"For Ukraine this step is worse than the Republics' recognition itself," said Alexander Zakharchenko.
Official translation by DONi News Agency