— Radioactive weapons are killing innocent civilians in Iraq—and the US military is behind it

Global Research, February 26, 2017
Alternet 22 February 2017

“Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying.”

On Monday, February 20, US-led coalition fighter jets bombed al-Shefaa, a residential area in eastern Mosul (Iraq). Sources from a variety of perspectives say that several dozen civilians died in the raid and a large number were wounded. The highest numbers are being quoted by the Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency, while the lower numbers come from al-Jazeera. The coalition commanders have not answered questions about the raids.

According to Airwars, a large number of civilians have been killed due to US-led coalition bombings that began in 2014. The total civilians killed range from 5,875 to 7,936, while those specifically killed by coalition airstrikes number between 2,405 and 3,517. These are twice the number of civilians as killed by Russian airstrikes in Syria, according to Airwars figures.

The Iraqi military confirms that it has slowed down its advance into Mosul because it does not know how to fight ISIS without endangering the 750,000 civilians in the region. The most recent UN situation report from Iraq counts 160,000 people already displaced as a result of the Mosul crisis. Low income levels, shortages of water, great threats because of the fighting – these define the situation for residents in and around Mosul.

A joint investigation by Airwars and Foreign Policy pushed the US military to confirm that in two incidents in 2015 the United States used depleted uranium (DU) shells against ISIS targets in Syria. When Airwars’ Samuel Oakford asked the United States military whether it had used any DU in Syria, they first denied it, then finally admitted to its use earlier this month. DU ammunition was fired from A-10 aircraft against fuel tankers.

Strikingly, the A-10 aircraft normally carries high explosive incendiary (HEI) ammunition which, according to its manufacturer General Dynamics, ‘provides fragmentation and incendiary effects for use against personnel, trucks, ammunition storage and many other targets’. The HEI would have been sufficient to destroy the fuel tankers, so that it was unnecessary to use DU – a radioactive substance – to contaminate parts of northern Syria.

Make the Desert Glow.

At the same time as the US was using radioactive weapons in Syria, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said of ISIS – ‘We will carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out’. This was plainly a reference to some kind of radioactive bombardment. It was precisely what the administration of Barack Obama had already been doing.

Not long after Cruz first made this comment – which became a standard for his stump speeches – Mark Halperin of Bloomberg asked another Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, whether he would go nuclear against ISIS. ‘Well, I’m never going to rule anything out’, replied Trump. When pushed by Chris Matthews of MSNBC on this issue, Trump said, ‘Somebody hits us within ISIS – you wouldn’t fight back with a nuke?’

Three generals who made their mark in Iraq between 1991 and 2008 now lead President Trump’s national security team. General James Mattis (Secretary of Defense), General John Kelley (Secretary of Homeland Security) and General H. R. McMaster (National Security Advisor) all led the US counter-insurgency operations in Iraq. Of the three, General James Mattis had the closest relationship to the use of radioactive weapons in Iraq. This was during the siege conducted by the United States against the city of Fallujah in 2004. To grasp the attitude of the US officers in this war, reflect for a minute on Mattis’ statement made in a 2003 speech to soldiers regarding how to comport themselves in Iraq, ‘Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet’.

Fallujah is one of the most forgotten contemporary US battlefields. In that battle to defeat the popular insurgency against the American occupation, the United States used chemical (white phosphorus) and radioactive (DU) weapons with great abandon. The fierceness of the war destroyed three quarters of the city and sent most of its population to the grave or into flight. At this time, General Mattis headed the 1st Marine Division that was key to the Fallujah war.

Ironically, the United States went into Iraq in 2003 with the claim that it wanted to destroy weapons of mass destruction. In turn, it was the United States that used weapons of mass destruction inside Iraq.

The United States dropped at least 116,000 kgs of DU ammunition during the bombing campaign of the 2003 Iraq War. At that time, A-10 fighter jets were used for these missions, the same planes used in Syria. Strike logs released to George Washington University in 2013, shows that in the early months of the war (March-April 2003), DU ammunition was used against cars and trucks as well as buildings of all kinds. The widespread use of these radioactive weapons across Iraq contaminated large swathes of the country. What transpired in Fallujah the next year was merely the continuation of what had become normal policy. The data from that war has not been released as of yet. It would show that DU weapons were fired not only from A-10 jets, but also from tanks and other ground-based devices. These not only contaminated the soil, but also endangered US troops.

It is not as if the US military did not know that DU weapons are dangerous.

The US Environmental Protection Agency calls these weapons ‘a radiation health hazard when inside the body’. A 1975 US Air Force review suggested that these weapons not be used against troops, but only against ‘tanks, armored personnel carriers or other hard targets’. This prohibition was routinely violated during the US War on Iraq. In 2003, the UK’s Royal Society of Medicine and the UN Environment Program warned against the use of such weapons. None of these warnings were heeded. People like Mattis and Kelley had their fingers on the trigger. There is no available evidence that they cautioned against what is tantamount to a war crime.

Everyone Seems to be Dying of Cancer.

Evidence from Baghdad and Fallujah is compelling. Before she died of leukemia, artist Nuha al-Radi wrote, ‘Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over 30 per cent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are a lot of kids with leukemia. The depleted uranium left by the US bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country’.

Dr. Samira Allani, a pediatric specialist at the Fallujah General Hospital, sees the connection between Iraq and Japan – two countries struck hard by weapons of mass destruction. The rate of children born with birth defects in Fallujah are much greater than that of children born – after 1945 – in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The dust from DU emits alpha radiation, which experts say is twenty times more dangerous than the gamma radiation from nuclear weapons. There was no dramatic mushroom cloud over Baghdad or Fallujah, but the smaller explosions might have been just as deadly.

Over the years, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has pushed a non-binding resolution in the UN General Assembly against the use of DU ammunition. Both in 2012 and 2014, the overwhelming majority of the world’s states voted for a resolution brought by the NAM against DU weapons. Both times the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Israel voted against the resolution. In December 2014, the NAM resolution came just as US A-10 fighter jets arrived in Kuwait to bomb ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq. There was fear that the US would use DU weapons once more in the region. This fear, we now find, was not unwarranted. The US has said that it used DU twice. One should not be comforted by this number, since there might be other instances where DU was used in the last few years.

It would be naïve to assume that the United States and its coalition are not using DU weaponry in the fight against ISIS in Mosul and elsewhere. These are dangerous weapons, whose radioactivity lasts a very long time and damages societies for generations. Statements by Trump and Cruz about the use of nuclear weapons and the lack of outrage against that shows how desensitized the population has become about violence against the brown bodies of West Asia.

And even against the ecology of the region. In her captivating memoir, Nuha al-Radi writes about fleeing into her family orchard when the US bombing of Iraq took place in 2003. ‘The birds have taken the worst beating of all’, she wrote. ‘They have sensitive souls, which cannot take all this hideous noise and vibration. All the caged lovebirds have died from the shock of the blasts, while birds in the wild fly upside down and do crazy somersaults. Hundreds, if not thousands, have died in the orchard. Lonely survivors fly about in distracted fashion’.

Whether Nuha, powerful artist that she was, wrote of the birds alone or wrote with allegory close to her pen is moot. Both the birds and Iraqis as well Syrians go about in a distracted fashion. Their lives continue to be turned askew by the hideous bombardment of this ongoing war.

Vijay Prashad is professor of international studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of 18 books, including Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press, 2012), The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013) and The Death of a Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution (University of California Press, 2016). His columns appear at AlterNet every Wednesday.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/radioactive-weapons-are-killing-innocent-civilians-in-iraq-and-the-us-military-is-behind-it/5576752

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— Santa Susanna Field Lab March 8 meeting on DOE’s broken cleanup promises and how to ensure full cleanup

From the Santa Susanna Field Laboratory Work Group

NEXT SSFL WORK GROUP MEETING
Wednesday, March 8, 6:30 p.m.
Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
3050 E. Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93065
The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the SSFL cleanup in which every option proposed would breach the legally binding cleanup agreement it signed in 2010 to clean up all contamination at SSFL. DOE now proposes instead to leave between 39% and 99% of the contamination not cleaned up. DOE hearings this week demonstrated public anger at DOE proposing to break its cleanup commitments, but much more is needed to ensure that DOE will uphold its SSFL cleanup commitments.

Please join us on March 8 to learn more about:

  • The Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) agreement that DOE signed to clean up all contamination at SSFL, and how the DOE’s proposals violate it
  • The amounts of contamination that DOE is proposing leaving behind, and the risks associated with the contamination
  • Misinformation put forth by DOE to help it break out of the agreement
  • How the community can help ensure a full cleanup of SSFL

We look forward to seeing you on March 8th for some straight talk about SSFL.

PS. If you haven’t yet, please submit a comment demanding that DOE honor its commitment to clean up all contamination at SSFL, and ask your friends, family, and neighbors to do so as well.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), also known as Rocketdyne, is a former nuclear and rocket engine testing facility that is contaminated with radiological and chemical pollutants. The 2,850 acre site is near Simi Valley, Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Calabasas, and Thousand Oaks. For over twenty-five years, the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Work Group has served to keep the community informed about the contamination at SSFL and assure it is thoroughly cleaned up.
To learn more visit www.ssflworkgroup.org or contact us at info@ssflworkgroup.org

— 300-400 tons of radioactive water flowing into the Pacific every day; “What is that doing to the Pacific Ocean?”

From ENE News

February 21, 2017

Arnie Gundersen, former nuclear engineer (emphasis added), Feb 2, 2017: “When I went to school, the saying was ‘dilution is the solution to pollution,’ and that’s what the Japanese believe. If they dump [radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi] on their side and it floats over to the West Coast of the U.S. — the Pacific’s a big place — it’ll dilute out. I don’t think that’s appropriate… people are going to die. Regardless of how low the radiation is, it does cause cellular damage and cancer. So if you spread it out in a big body of water, the concentration goes down, but on the other hand, you’ve got a couple billion people exposed to it because they’re on the edge of that big body of water. So the concentration is down but the population is up and you’re still going to get cancer; it’s inevitable.”

Dr. Helen Caldicott, Feb 13, 2017: As the water flows beneath the damaged reactors, it immerses the three molten cores and becomes extremely radioactive as it continues its journey into the adjacent Pacific Ocean. Every day since the accident began, 300 to 400 tons of water has poured into the Pacific where numerous isotopes including cesium 137, 134, strontium 90, tritium, plutonium, americium and up to 100 more, enter the ocean and bio-concentrate by orders of magnitude at each step of the food chain… tuna, salmon and other species found on the American west coast now contain some of these radioactive elements… [Fukushima Daiichi] will continue to pour water into the Pacific for the rest of time

Fox News, Feb 8, 2017: Adam Housley, who reported from the area in 2011 following the catastrophic triple-meltdown, said… small levels of radiation are still being detected off the coasts of California and Oregon and scientists fear it could get worse. “The worry is with 300 tons of radioactive water going into the Pacific every day, what is that doing to the Pacific Ocean?” said Housley…

Fox News video transcript excerpts, Feb 8, 2017: Nearly 300 tons of radioactive water is dumped into the Pacific Ocean each and every day… There is still radiation being detected off the west coast of California and Oregon… The worry is with 300 tons of radioactive water going in every day to the Pacific — what is that doing to the Pacific Ocean?… We really don’t know what this radioactive water is doing to the Pacific I think a lot of people are very concerned about that…. As we know that water moves toward the west coast of the US.”

Watch the FOX News broadcast here

http://enenews.com/tv-scientists-fear-fukushima-radiation-hitting-us-to-worsen-a-lot-of-people-are-very-concerned-experts-billions-are-being-exposed-reactors-will-continue-to-pour-water-into-pacific-for

There are various inaccuracies in the Fox report:

  • 400 tons at least, not 300 tons
  • 530 Sievert/hour reading is from a different area in the reactor that TEPCO had not been measured before which is closer to the core. It may always have been this high. 73 Sieverts/hour  was measured on 3/11 at a different location, farther away. I haven’t seen a current reading there, for comparison. The surprise is being able to measure the true levels of radiation and finding it this high (this reading is also an estimate).
    “Although the radiation level is “astoundingly high,” says Azby Brown of Safecast, a citizen science organization that monitors radiation levels, it doesn’t necessarily signify any alarming change in radiation levels at Fukushima. It’s simply the first time they have been measured that far inside the reactor.” Washington Post
  • According to Washington Post, the evidence is not for new leaks but that melted fuel escaped at some time. Many experts said this happened perhaps within hours of the melt-downs. However, radioactive contamination is constantly “leaking” or rather, pouring into the Pacific Ocean.

What’s important is that mainstream news is covering this and the ocean contamination as a very important and ongoing event that can also impact the West Coast of America. That is a change.

— Iodine-131 detected in Europe, source unknown; U.S. Air Force deploys nuclear sniffer aircraft

From ENE News
February 20, 2017

The Aviationist, Feb 19 2017 (emphasis added): U.S. Air Force deploys WC-135 nuclear sniffer aircraft to UK as spike of radioactive Iodine levels is detected in Europe… Along with monitoring nuke testing, the WC-135 is used to track radioactive activity as happened after the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986 and Fukushima incident back in 2011… As of yet, there has been no official statement from the U.S. military about the reasons why such nuclear research aircraft was deployed there. However, many sources suggest the aircraft was tasked with investigating the spike in Iodine levels detected in northern Europe since the beginning of January… no one seems to know the reason behind the released Iodine-131…

Barents Observer, Feb 19, 2017: … radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin was in January detected over large areas in Europe. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection is a proof of a rather recent release. Where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery… Iodine-131 in the air could come from an incident with a nuclear reactor…  Someone out there knows why the radioactivity was spread over larger areas of Europe… Nuclear installations [where] radioactivity was first discovered, includes nuclear power plants in Finland, Sweden and Russia… The source could as well come from even further away installations.

IRSN (France’s Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute), Feb 13, 2017: Iodine-131 (131I), a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January. Iodine-131 is a radionuclide with a short half-life (T1/2 = 8.04 day). The detection of this radionuclide is proof of a rather recent release… the origin of which is still unknown… Lead-210 [concentration detected by IRSN peaked at 1600 µBq/m3 in January, four times higher than the usual mean value]… It must be pointed out that only particulate iodine was reported. When detectable, gaseous iodine is usually dominant and can be estimated to be 3 to 5 times higher than the fraction of particulate iodine. In France, particulate 131I reached 0.31 µBq/m3 and thus the total (gaseous + particulate fractions) can be estimated at about 1.5 µBq/m3.

See map of 131I detections here

http://enenews.com/mystery-radiation-spikes-being-detected-in-many-countries-us-military-secretly-deploys-nuclear-sniffer-aircraft-radioactivity-levels-quadrupled-officials-iodine-131-is-proof-of-ra

— Another cover-up: new UK study finds 110 MoD nuke accidents — 4X higher than reported by govt.

From RT

February 23, 2017

Dozens of nuclear alerts underreported by British MoD, new study reveals
The UK Ministry of Defense has been accused of downplaying the real dangers stemming from the UK nuclear deterrent after the report by a safety watchdog put the number of accidents, involving British nukes, at 110, four times higher the official count.

Unveiled on Wednesday by the Nuclear Information Service (NIS), an independent nuclear watchdog, the report sheds light onto dozens of mishaps involving British nuclear weapons, featuring previously unreported accidents with potentially disastrous consequences. The in-depth study, which traces back all 65 years of the British nuclear program, arranges accidents into seven sections in accordance with their place of origin.

The report is based on the official findings, including  the report on nuclear weapons safety written by Professor Sir Ronald Oxburgh, information revealed during parliamentary questions, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act as well as from whistleblowers, witnesses and other researchers.

The biggest group of all lists accidents that took place on nuclear-capable submarines, ships and aircraft. The causes for a total of 45 mishaps, including 24 that occurred with nuclear-armed submarines, range from collision and fires to the effects of lightning.

In one of the most notable accidents of that kind, Royal Navy submarine HMS Vanguard, which is capable of carrying up to 48 Trident nuclear warheads, collided with a French Le Triomphant submarine, which could be armed with about the same amount of TN75 nuclear warheads. The circumstances of the accident, which happened early February 2009 in the Atlantic Ocean, were hushed up at the time and still not known to the full.

Although the official investigation report into the collision came to the reassuring conclusion that “at no time was nuclear safety compromised and the Strategic Weapon System remained inside tolerable limits at all times”, whistleblowers’ accounts are far more daunting. An officer who was on board the UK submarine reportedly said “We thought, this it we’re all going to die,” while recalling the incident in the conversation with Royal Navy whistleblower William McNeilly.

Other case studies include a nuclear warhead carrier sliding off the rode into the ditch on January 10, 1987 in Wiltshire. The misfortune is described by the authors as “most visible” and “embarrassing” incident to date. Overall, 22 road transportation incidents, among them overturning of vehicles carrying nukes, have been cited in the report.

While only 14 accidents, linked to the faults in manufacturing and production process, are listed in the report, the most severe nuclear accident in UK history also falls into this category. The fire at the Windscale plant in 1957 led to massive release of radiation from graphite-moderated reactor that triggered “around 100 fatal cancers and around 90 non-fatal cancers.”

The report also lists 21 “security-related” incidents and eight incidents blamed onto the improper storage and handling of the nukes.

The comprehensive study, spanning over 100 pages under an awe-inspiring title “Playing with Fire,” blames the defense ministry for attempting to sweep the issue of nuclear safety under the carpet by concealing essential details of the incidents and downplaying their impact.

READ MORE: Trident whistleblower calls out MoD’s ‘lame attempt’ to excuse nuke malfunctions

The report argues that the official data released by the British Defense Ministry in 2003 which put the number of incidents at 27, is “far from a full list of all the accidents.”

It is not the first time the British military has been accused of covering up major issues with its nuclear deterrent. News on a failed Trident missile test, carried out off Florida coast in June 2016, sparked a new round of heated debates on the British nuclear program. The routine test performed by the HMS Vengeance in June 2016 from Port Canaveral went horribly wrong with the missile heading back to the US mainland. However, the UK authorities did not issue any statement on the failed test, reportedly, advised to refrain from sharing unfavorable data by US colleagues.

READ MORE: Trident nukes useless against today’s actual security problems – CND report

The Trident missile malfunction came just weeks before the UK parliament voted in favor of renewing controversial Britain’s Trident deterrent, estimated to cost some £40 billion.

In January, McNeilly, who was first to leak the details about the serious fire issues aboard Trident submarine, told RT that he has witnessed Trident “fail 3 out of 3 WP 186 Missile Compensating Tests.”

https://www.rt.com/uk/378340-nuclear-accidents-report-defense/

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

— Mothers for Peace argues for closure of Diablo Canyon in 2019

From Mothers for Peace
January 31, 2017

On Friday, January 27, Mothers for Peace through Ojai-based attorney Sabrina Venskus, submitted expert testimony to the California Public Utilities Commission showing that Diablo Canyon should be closed in 2019, not 2024. news release

One of Mothers for Peace’s expert witness, nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer for Fairewinds Associates, Inc, provided testimony demonstrating unsafe and unreliable conditions at the plant.  Arnie Gundersen testimony

Another expert witness is David D. Jackson who works with the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences at UCLA.  In his testimony, Dr. Jackson explains the many types of seismic damage to the plant in case of an earthquake. Among his assertions is that the substantial risk of earthquakes at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant has been underestimated, and that the seismic studies relied upon evaluate only a part of the risk which affects any decision of how long to continue operation of the two Diablo Canyon reactors.  David D. Jackson testimony

————————————–

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

January 31, 2017

Contacts:  Jane Swanson, spokesperson

(805) 440-1359

janeslo[at]icloud.com

 

Linda Seeley, spokesperson

(805) 234-1769

lindaseeley[at]gmail.com

 

On Friday January 27, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) through Ojai-based attorney Sabrina Venskus submitted expert testimony to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) showing that Diablo Canyon should be closed in 2019, not 2024, because it is becoming unsafe and unreliable. SLOMFP’s expert witness is nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer for Fairewinds Associates, Inc.

“Diablo Canyon was designed in the mid-1960s. Some of its parts are as dated as rabbit ears on a black and white TV.  This atomic power reactor is old and tired, and it is not reliable or safe.  The faster Diablo Canyon closes, the safer Californians will be,” stated Mr. Gundersen. Replacement costs for these outmoded parts at Diablo Canyon during the next 7 to 8 years are well in excess of a reasonable investment for a plant that is scheduled to shut down in 2024. Mr. Gundersen’s testimony also illuminates the degraded condition of tens of thousands of often neglected switches, plates, springs, shock absorbers, pipes, and other components of this aged atomic power reactor that are in danger of failing well before 2024.

The companies that own nuclear reactors have a tendency to defer needed maintenance and replacement of worn parts when permanent closure is imminent. Called “running to failure,” the operator tends to take a chance that the part won’t fail before the plant closes down. In an old car that is ready for the junkyard the owner won’t replace worn tires with ones that are guaranteed for 50,000 miles. Instead, he will take a chance that the tires won’t blow out before the old car is junked. If there’s a blowout in a tire, it can be hazardous. If there’s a failure of an essential component of a nuclear power plant, the costs of of replacement or of repair of damage can be huge.

Mr. Gundersen’s testimony, attached below, cites numerous parts and components at Diablo Canyon that have been listed in the 2017 Rate Case by Pacific Gas and Electric as in need of replacement. In Mr. Gundersen’s opinion, shutting the doors of the two reactors makes sense in 2019, before parts and components are forced to run to failure.

SLOMFP is commenting as a party to the California Public Utilities Commission’s proceedings on the Joint Proposal reached in June of 2016 between PG&E and several environmental groups and unions. SLOMFP has also submitted expert testimony to the CPUC by David Jackson, Ph.D. regarding seismic damage to the plant in case of an earthquake. SLOMFP has joined with Women’s Energy Matters of Marin County regarding timing and costs of replacing the needed power at Diablo Canyon with renewable energy, using the testimony of energy analyst Robert Freehling. SLOMFP compiled documents regarding the environmental effects of Once-Through Cooling on aquatic life around the facility. By co-sponsoring a portion of the testimony by the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility’s attorney Al Pak, SLOMFP is objecting to PG&E’s request to recover the costs of its relicensing application filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2009, but later withdrawn.

https://mothersforpeace.org/

— L’UE exhorte à lever le blocus commercial du Donbass

Un blocus du Donbass au lieu d'une aide

Sputnik

16.02.2017

Face à la perspective des coupures d’électricité tournantes en Ukraine, l’Union européenne s’est enfin aperçue du blocus commercial du Donbass, Kiev n’en recevant plus la houille anthracite absolument nécessaire pour les centrales ukrainiennes.

Le blocus commercial du Donbass viole les droits des Ukrainiens habitant sur les territoires qui échappent actuellement au contrôle de Kiev et risque de déclencher une crise énergétique dans le pays, prévient, dans un communiqué, la représentation de l’Union européenne en Ukraine, ajoutant que les organisateurs du blocus doivent le lever immédiatement.

« Le blocus du Donbass par l’Ukraine contredit l’approche inclusive envers les Ukrainiens habitant sur les territoires où les organes du pouvoir n’exercent pas provisoirement leurs fonctions. Les responsables du lancement du blocus doivent le lever immédiatement. Quant aux autorités, elles doivent régler ce problème au plus vite », lit-on dans le communiqué, cité par Sputnik.

Il s’agit en l’occurrence du blocus de la communication ferroviaire avec le Donbass qui se poursuit depuis fin janvier, quand un groupe d’anciens combattants des bataillons de volontaires, qui avaient participé aux hostilités dans le sud-est de l’Ukraine, et de députés de la Rada suprême (parlement ukrainien), a barré le trafic sur la ligne de chemin de fer. Les organisateurs du blocus ont affirmé que tout commerce avec les Républiques populaires autoproclamées de Donetsk (DNR) et de Lougansk (LNR) était illégal, et que toutes les marchandises transportées relevaient par conséquent de la contrebande.

Le blocus ferroviaire a débouché sur des problèmes de livraison de houille anthracite depuis le Donbass, engendrant des difficultés dans le secteur énergétique de l’Ukraine. Comme résultat, Kiev envisage d’ores et déjà des coupures d’électricité tournantes dans la plupart des régions du pays.

https://fr.sputniknews.com/international/201702161030122172-ue-blocus-donbass-levee-commerce-kiev/