Ukraine's interior minister calls for full blockade of Donbas


© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Thursday there was a need to fully separate the territories of the East-Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by militia forces.

"We'll have to fully close the line of contact [separating the militia units and the forces loyal to the government in Kiev - TASS] to close it for everything," he said in an interview with agency.

"That's my radical viewpoint," Avakov went on. "In a junta-like style, the way we do it. Let's shut the contact line. Let them cross it on foot or in small cars but without any goods. As for the goods, let them get everything from Russia."

"We'll set out two or three positions of critically vital imports Ukraine has interest in, coaking coal for instance I don't know because I'm not an expert," Avakov said. "And let's say definitive 'no' to all other things. The population will be allowed to cross over to the Ukrainian side and to buy foodstuffs, which they will then take back home in their hands or in their private cars, but no trucks!"

"You wanted independence and friendship with Russia? You're welcome, Russia is right across the border," he said. "Or do you want to live by the Ukrainian laws because you are Ukrainian? OK, we have the Minsk accords, here you are. Our border guards will take control over the border, and then we'll clear out everything ourselves."

The accords reached in Minsk in September 2014 and February 2015 say in clear terms the Kiev government is to restore all the economic and social ties with the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.