Ukraine to suspend trade with Crimea

Ukraine says it will suspend trade with Russian-occupied Crimea by mid-January.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in televised comments Wednesday the ban will begin in 30 days and will affect everything but humanitarian aid.

The prime minister added there was no decision as to whether Ukraine would supply electricity to Ukraine.

“As far as electricity is concerned, these supplies can be provided only based on a decision by the National Security and Defense Council,” Yatsenyuk said.

Crimea, which has a population of about two million people, depends almost entirely on Ukraine for its power and water supplies.

On December 8, Ukraine partially restored power to Crimea after a series of explosions damaged high voltage lines supplying electricity to the peninsula.

Crimea’s Russia-backed leaders and Moscow claimed that Ukraine’s Western-backed leadership was responsible for bringing down the power lines – an allegation Kyiv has repeatedly denied.

The 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia plunged relations between Kyiv and Moscow into a crisis deepened by a rebellion by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.