The government is working on a development strategy for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by Kyiv. The plan is to submit the document to the Verkhovna Rada in 2021 spring, together with all the related acts that will ensure its implementation.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov stated this.

He noted that the strategy would cover the regions’ development in three ways:

– Creating conditions for attracting domestic and foreign investments;

– Development financing by the state budget;

– Funding by international donors and organisations.

“It will focus on creating comfortable conditions for the population and employment increase. Local communities should become the basis for economic growth. The strategy’s logic is to create attractive conditions for business, which will ensure communities’ sustainable development via paying taxes,” Reznikov said.

He stressed that Donbas economic development is impossible without the communities’ growth, which, in particular, are located directly on the front-line with the territories temporarily uncontrolled by the Ukrainian government.

Besides, the Minister believes the power should “send a clear signal that Donbas and people who live currently in the temporarily occupied territories and are the occupiers’ hostages are important for Ukraine.”

At the same time, according to Reznikov, the Donbas war has already become unprofitable for Russia, and it does not cope with it economically in the occupied Ukrainian territories.

“The manoeuvre they made in 2014 has become already costly, unbeneficial. There is a need to keep about 3-3.5 million people in the occupied Donbas, provide them with pensions, budget payments, sort out the questions of maintaining order,” the Minister said.

He believes the Russian Federation cannot provide jobs and a standard level of medical care for people during the pandemic.

Bohdan Marusyak

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