Interfax: Most Ukrainian industrial production facilities will stop with severance of diplomatic ties with Russia – Federation Council members

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. July 16 (Interfax) – Members of the Russian Federation Council believe that Ukraine would experience grave socioeconomic consequences from the possible severance of diplomatic relations with Russia.

Nikolai Ryzhkov, Federation Council member and the head of a public committee for support of the residents of southeastern Ukraine, described remarks by Ukrainian officials suggesting that Ukraine could sever diplomatic ties with Russia as “absolutely ill-conceived.”

“The severance of diplomatic relations is not just some paper exchange of opinions, but the severance will end trade, economic, humanitarian, and simply human ties and relations. Mind that, according to various estimates, from 3 million to 4 million Ukrainian citizens work in Russia, and this work on Russian territory enables them to feed their families in Ukraine. Therefore, with the severance of diplomatic relations, these millions of Ukrainian citizens will simply be left without a piece of bread,” Ryzhkov told Interfax.

The Ukrainian economy is closely associated with the Russian one, and if diplomatic relations between the two countries are severed, most of Ukrainian industrial production facilities will stop, Ryzhkov said.

Ukraine’s economy has entered stagnation and a default phase, and this process will deal a severe blow to the people by the fall, Ryzhkov said. “The Ukrainian economy is facing extremely hard and joyless prospects. The European Union and the U.S. are confining themselves merely to declarative statements as concerns support for the [Ukrainian] national economy, and nothing more than that,” he said.

Russia is among the principal consumers of Ukrainian products, Ryzhkov said. “It is absolutely obvious, and the Ukrainian authorities are perfectly aware of this, that nobody in Europe needs their products, and it will take huge money and many years to make them competitive at least on the European market,” Ryzhkov said.

“Therefore, talking about the severance of diplomatic relations means not understanding how detrimental the consequences will be for the country in general and for the people,” Ryzhkov said.

Viktor Ozerov, the head of the Federation Council defense and security committee, believes the remark on severing diplomatic ties with Russia was designed for the EU and the U.S. “It is not just a coincidence that the statement on the possibility of severing diplomatic ties with Russia was made in Kyiv amid the discussions between the U.S. and its European Union partners on new sanctions against Russia, and it is precisely the U.S. and the European Union countries that Kyiv addressed its statement to,” Ozerov told Interfax.

Ukraine’s geo-strategic location determines its high dependence on Russia, Ozerov said. “This concerns energy supplies and transit transportation. I’d like to notice that the entire oil processing industry in Ukraine operates on oil and oil products brought from Russia,” Ozerov said.

Supplies from Russia account for nearly 90% of Ukraine’s demand for oil and 55% for gas, he said.

“For instance, Ukraine’s metallurgic industry depends quite significantly on supplies from Russia. The same concerns other sectors of the Ukrainian economy,” Ozerov said.

If diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Russia are severed, any economic cooperation will definitely be phased out, he said.