The official explained that in the future other models and schemes for the development of economic relations with the Crimea could be proposed, but the commodity blockade of the peninsula in the form in which it exists today does not give the desired results. The fact that the decision to lift the blockade has matured and is about to be made is evidenced by the recent speech of another deputy minister for the occupied territories, Georgy Tuk. In the ministry, Took is in charge of Donbass. 29 May 2016. He also made a call to lift the economic blockade of Donbass. Tuka explained his words by saying that the economic blockade of the region is beneficial for Russia, which has become the main supplier of goods to the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Georgy Tuku directly described the blockade decision as stupid and short-sighted and stressed that now it is time to “open trade gateways” and compete in the Donbas with the Russian ruble and Russian goods. Indeed, after the start of the Donbass blockade, the territories of the DPR and LPR stopped purchasing products from Ukrainian manufacturers, respectively, again, the Ukrainian economy began to incur serious losses.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian authorities were aware of the negative consequences of the economic blockade of the same Crimea even before it began. After all, it was no secret that as a result of the blockade, it was Ukrainian manufacturers who had to suffer. The supply of goods in the Crimea was restored after a short time and is now carried out through Kerch. But the Ukrainian manufacturers lost the opportunity to sell their products in the Crimea and began to incur direct financial losses, and very impressive ones. Accordingly, taxes in the Ukrainian budget were reduced, some workplaces were eliminated. The question is - what in this case acquired Kiev, going on about the Crimean Tatar radicals?
Recall that the action on the trade blockade of the Crimean peninsula began on September 20 2015, at the checkpoints "Kalanchak", "Chaplink" and "Chongar." Its initiators and main participants at that time were activists of the Right Sector organizations (banned in Russia) and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. The militants of these organizations blocked the way to the Crimea and did not let trucks with goods, coming from the territory of Ukraine. However, later information began to appear that many blockade activists use this action in order to banally racket passing drivers and charge them for passing through roadblocks. The criminal behavior of some activists has become known to the media. A typical case occurred at the beginning of May of this year - in the area of the village of Chongar. There were drunk and armed participants in the blockade in the amount of five people. They bullied drivers passing cars, and finally decided to throw a grenade into one of the cars. But the driver managed to leave quickly, and the fighter, hot with alcohol, put the grenade without checks into his pocket. The result - two dead bodies and three injured participants in the blockade. It should be noted that the participants in the blockade fairly “got” the residents of the surrounding villages, who file complaints with the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine.
Such political figures as Mustafa Dzhemilev, Refat Chubarov and Lenur Islyamov repeatedly declared the need for the blockade. These leaders of the Crimean Tatar nationalists decided that with the help of the blockade it would be possible to create additional problems for Russia and Crimea. At the same time, neither the interests of Ukrainian producers, nor the consequences of the blockade for the Ukrainian economy, nor the supply of their own tribesmen, most of whom live in the Crimea, bothered them. The Ukrainian nationalists came to the aid of the Crimean-Tatar nationalists. It is noteworthy that one of the leaders of the Majlis Mustafa Dzhemilev in one of his interviews said that the economic blockade of the Crimea was discussed with the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and the head of the Ukrainian state stressed that he was not going to prevent the blockade organized by the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar radicals. That is, the so-called. From the very beginning, the “civil blockade” of the Crimea was carried out with the direct support of the Kiev authorities, who in the fall of 2015 did not dare to impose a formal ban on trade with the peninsula.
However, the Ukrainian radicals did not achieve the desired results of the trade blockade. Immediately after the introduction of the blockade, the operational response of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation followed. It was decided to pass through the Kerch ferry in the priority mode food and fuel and lubricants. About thirty trade and industrial organizations of the Crimea signed an agreement of mutual understanding with the regional government, which aimed to curb possible price increases, which could follow the commodity blockade. In addition, it was decided to form a strategic food reserve in Crimea in case of emergencies, including disruptions in the work of the crossing to Kerch. However, soon the situation with the commodity supply of the Crimean Peninsula was normalized.
Ukrainian commodity blockade of the Crimea brought only losses. As early as September 2015, the importation of goods into the Crimea declined by 31,1% compared to August 2015. As early as September 2015, immediately after the beginning of the commodity blockade of the Crimea, Ukrainian companies began to express dissatisfaction with the actions of the radicals, because they calculated the enormous losses that they will suffer as a result of the overlap of trade with the peninsula. Trying to protect their economic interests, Ukrainian manufacturers referred to the difficult economic situation in Ukraine. Crimea was an excellent market for Ukrainian products, including agricultural. In the face of fierce competition in the modern world, limiting the market is, to put it mildly, a dubious decision. Some entrepreneurs tried to refer to the strangeness of the blockade of residents, who, like in the Ukrainian state, are considered to be their fellow citizens. By the way, possible violations of human rights during the commodity and energy blockade of Crimea were also worried about the United Nations, whose representatives stressed that the blockade would only further deepen the contradictions between the Ukrainian state and the Russian Federation represented by the authorities of the Republic of Crimea.
However, the Ukrainian government did not hear the arguments of entrepreneurs. Political ambitions turned out to be for Petro Poroshenko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk for that period much more significant than economic benefits. 23 November 2015 Ukrainian government announced the introduction of a temporary ban on the movement of trucks across the border with the Crimea. 16 December 2015 was decided to ban the supply of goods and services to the Crimea and from the Crimea "for all customs regimes." Only transportation or transfer of personal belongings, socially important food products and humanitarian aid were allowed. 31 December 2015 The Ukrainian radicals reported on the termination of the civil blockade of the Crimea, as the government began the blockade at the official level. It is noteworthy that at first Ukrainian officials tried to call black white and justify the blockade not only political, but also ostensibly economic considerations. In particular, Dmitry Schulmeister, Director of the Food Department of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine, stated that Ukraine would benefit from the blockade of the Crimea, and associated financial losses of agricultural producers with panic, which caused a decrease in prices for vegetable products by three to five times.
But in reality, the blockade, first of all, struck the agrarian sector of the neighboring Kherson region. Agricultural producers began to suffer huge losses - first, the prices of vegetable and dairy products fell. Before the blockade, the trade in raw milk between the Kherson region and the Crimea was very developed. Dzhankoysky creamery covered raw materials needs at the expense of milk suppliers from Kherson and Nikolaev regions. Since the products of the creamery were in demand in the Crimea and Russia, before the blockade began, the purchase prices for milk in the Ukrainian border areas only grew. It turns out that the Kherson and Nikolaev agrarian industry only won from the reunification of the Crimea with Russia - the income of dairy farms increased, and their owners could not rejoice in it. The situation changed immediately after in September 2015, the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian nationalists blocked traffic at checkpoints in the Crimea.
The loss of the Crimean market was a powerful blow to the agricultural sector of the border regions of Ukraine. The dairy production of Kherson and Nikolaev regions began to incur serious losses, the purchase prices for milk decreased and practically did not cover the costs necessary to obtain milk. But the Ukrainian authorities have once again demonstrated that the problems of ordinary rural workers do not concern them, in the same way, as well as concern for the development of the agricultural sector in the country. It is noteworthy that, despite the decline in purchase prices for milk, the collapse in prices in the food market of Ukraine did not happen. That is, speculators have won, buying milk from producers at meager prices and selling it at the same price as before the blockade of the Crimea.
The actions of Ukraine against the Crimea, in fact, are more similar to a planned provocation, including against the Ukrainian state itself and its people, than to rational political action. Do not underestimate the mental abilities of workers of various Ukrainian ministries and departments - of course, they were all aware of the sad prospects of the blockade of the Crimea, first of all, for the Ukrainian economy itself. But for some reason, the blockade turned out to be more important for the Ukrainian government than the economic welfare of the country. Now the situation is gradually changing. And the reason for this, again, lies in the plane of politics, not the economy. If the Ukrainian leaders five months ago did not care about the interests of domestic producers, then why would they suddenly be concerned about them today? The problem is that Petro Poroshenko is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain power in the face of the deepening economic and political crisis in Ukraine. The lifting of the blockade will be unpopular, according to the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar nationalists, a decision, but it will allow at least a little to improve the welfare of the Ukrainian population. In the current situation, this is not so little.
By the way, back in October 2015, just a month after the beginning of the commodity blockade of the Crimean peninsula by the forces of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar nationalists, the head of the Committee of the Crimean parliament on agricultural policy, ecology and natural resources Yuri Shevchenko predicted that the blockade would last only until spring 2016 of the year. Time confirms the complete correctness of the words of the politician - in the spring of 2016, Ukrainian officials began talking about a possible lifting of the blockade. Do not discount the large agro-industrial business of Ukraine, which can put pressure on the cabinet of ministers. Now is the perfect time to export agricultural products to the Crimea, but the blockade is hampered by depriving Ukrainian farmers of their huge profits.
For the Crimea itself, the consequences of the blockade turned out to be, oddly enough, rather positive. Of course, at first there were certain difficulties in providing the peninsula with certain types of goods, but then the growth of the food industry in Crimea began. This was announced by the Minister of Economic Development of the Republic of Crimea Valentin Demidov. He stressed that for the first time in seven years there has been an increase in production in the food industry of the peninsula. Manufacturers from other regions of Russia also won, which began to supply their products to the Crimea and, accordingly, gained another market in which they had to compete with products of Ukrainian manufacturers. Finally, the blockade of the Crimea contributed to closer attention of Russia to the issues of ensuring food security of the peninsula.