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President: no trade with seized enterprises

Poroshenko seeks EU support, including the strengthening of sanctions against the Russian Federation.

Ukraine will not engage in any trade with the businesses seized by the representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics (DPR/LPR) on the occupied territories of Donbas, President Petro Poroshenko said at a meeting with Minister for European and Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn on 14 March.

Poroshenko stressed that the worsening of the situation in Donbas is due to Russia's provocative actions. He recalled that the Russian Federation had recognized the fake identity documents of the so-called DPR and LPR, and that Ukrainian companies that had been working within the framework of the Ukrainian legal field and paid taxes and salaries in hryvnyas have been consequently seized.

"After the seizure of these entities, we cannot have any trade relations with these 'confiscated' enterprises. We will not allow any of their activities. And we ask for the support of these decisions, including through the enhancement of the EU sanctions against Russia, which allowed for this brutal violation of international law," Poroshenko stressed.

"Our common position is geared towards the restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty on the territories that are currently under occupation," the president added.

On 27 February, militant leaders demanded an end to the blockade of Donbas and threatened to seize Ukrainian companies, and cease the supplies of coal. Meanwhile, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that the separatists were interested in the blockade, and, on the orders of Russian handlers, intend to use this situation to "nationalize" Ukrainian enterprises located on the temporarily occupied territories.

On 1 March, the leaders of the DPR and LPR announced the "nationalization" of Ukrainian enterprises located in the territory controlled by the separatists.