Wednesday, November 5, 2014 1:17 pm
Ukraine’s prime minister said Wednesday that financial aid from the central government to the pro-Russian separatist eastern regions will be stopped until “terrorists clear out of there.”
However, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a cabinet meeting that Ukraine would maintain gas and electricity supplies so as to spare “ordinary people” during the winter.
The decision to axe the Donetsk and Lugansk regions from Ukraine’s cash-strapped budget came amid growing doubts over the future of a two-month old peace accord that was meant to stop fighting and lead to political settlement.
Yatsenyuk said the separatist leaders, who have declared independence and defied the government by holding their own elections on Sunday, should be left to fend for themselves.
“We don’t want to finance imposters and conmen,” he said. “As soon as the terrorists clear out of there and we get back the territory, then we will pay every person the welfare payments they have the right to.”
“To pay today is to directly finance terrorism,” he said. “The terrorists should get out of this territory and Russia should stop supporting them.”
However, gas and power supplies will continue, he said. “Our citizens are on this territory and the government will not allow these people to freeze, because this would lead to humanitarian catastrophe.”