Donetsk, Sep 7 - DAN. Ukraine’s debt to Donetsk People’s Republic pensioners is approaching 145 billion hryvnas, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Foreign Ministry International Law Sector Ivan Fomin said on Tuesday.

“On-going estimates show that Ukraine’s pension debt to the Republic’s residents amounts to 144.5 billion hryvnas, including 11.2 billion hryvnas to citizens with health limitations,” Fomin said.

In April, Ukraine's pension debt to the DPR reached 128.9 billion hryvnas, the Republic’s Ministry of Social Policy reported. Consequently, the debt sum increased by approximately 15 billion hryvnas over five months.

Ukraine launched the economic blockade of Donbass on November 15, 2014. Back then, Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko signed a degree to terminate the payment of welfare benefits including pensions in the conflict zone. A ban was placed on bank services for Donbass residents and enterprises. The DPR and LPR authorities called the decision “an act of genocide and ruin of people.”

Article 8 of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements of February 12, 2015 envisions definition of modalities of full resumption of socio-economic ties, including social transfers. It is a regular topic at the negotiations, but Kiev is in no hurry to fulfill its obligations.*jk