President Vladimir Putin is threatening to halt Ukrainian imports as he tries to cool his neighbor's plans to integrate trade with Europe after the ouster of its Russian-backed leader in February. Ukraine's east, whose metals and machinery plants rely on demand over the border, has been rocked by pro-Russian separatists who've seized official buildings and taken hostages.

While the eastern regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk are home to 28 percent of Ukraine's 45 million people, they accounted for almost half of industrial output in January-February, statistics service data show. Luhansk sends 70 percent of its exports to Russia, according to the service.

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