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The Donbas gave at the mercy of Russia
Material posted: Publication date: 16-09-2014

Amid ceasefire in South-Eastern Ukraine the authorities in Kiev hope to pass on to Russia the bulk of the financial responsibilities for the restoration of the Donbass. The opportunity spelled out in the bill on the special status of Donbass, which could be considered by the Rada on 16 September. Their money for rebuilding the region for Ukraine.

This week Ukrainian Parliament will consider the bill on the special status of Donbass. In the version of the law, which President Petro Poroshenko invited the region as reconciliation, will be spelled out the possibility of voluntary financing of these territories by Russia. In fact, this will allow Kiev to absolve themselves of the responsibility for rebuilding the region.

The head of "Block of Petro Poroshenko" Yuriy Lutsenko said that the rule as follows:

"The draft law on the special status, which will be introduced in the Parliament, assumes a special humanitarian status, that is, once again, confirmed the guarantee of use of the Russian language. Ensuring the right for election of deputies city and regional councils and special economic mode, which I would compare with a free economic zone, that is, all earned remains in the region."

"The budget of this zone can be filled by means of Moscow and Kiev. They should pay for it themselves, if it a special status, but is the money actually earned and given in good faith with Kiev and Moscow", — explained the politician.

In Moscow statements Lutsenko officials have not yet commented.

So far, however, Lutsenko is not told who will pay taxes to the DPR and LPR on the new version of the law was to keep them completely or some part of the transfer to Kiev. Most likely, the answer to this question will be known tomorrow: the law on the special status of Donbass on Tuesday the Verkhovna Rada will consider.

The essence of the presidential initiative is clear: to restore, at its expense, Donbass, Ukraine are not able to.

Apparently, so even Lutsenko said that the idea is to isolate and enclose engineering structures that one third of the region, which is still under the control of the separatists, and "to begin to compete with her" not only "militarily, but economically as well". By the way, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman estimated the losses from the military conflict in the Donbas at UAH 12 bn — about $860 million.

According to the Cabinet, in the Donetsk region damage suffered 21 cities and 13 regions (28 cities and 18 districts). In Luhansk region the war has affected all 14 cities and eight of 18 areas. According to preliminary estimates, in Donetsk and Luhansk regions are destroyed or damaged 11 325 objects at more than 11 billion UAH.

"Most of the damage falls on the houses and the system of electricity, water, heating. Destroyed more than a thousand objects of transport infrastructure and 132 industrial facilities. As a result, from 1.1 million to 1.8 million working-age residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in varying degrees, will remain without work and means for living", — said Groisman.

The restoration of the Donbas on their own for Ukraine is now a daunting challenge, experts say.

So, according to the President of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and entrepreneurs Anatoliy Kinakh, the Donetsk and Luhansk region totaling about 15% of Ukraine's GDP, but because of the war, industrial production has fallen by a third in half in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

According to his estimates, the recovery of the region's infrastructure will take at least $7-8 billion, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk stated that Kiev is willing to spend to help victims of the war-torn region only 7-8 billion UAH, that is up to $500 million.

The money is short, recognizes Yatsenyuk.

"Earlier we believed that the restoration of the Donbass, according to first estimates, will need 8 billion USD, it would not have turned out so that will need 8 billion dollars," he said.

The presidential Commissioner for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbass, the people's Deputy Irina Gerashchenko said that Ukraine is now looking for investors who could invest in the Donbass, because in the budget they are not.

"The militants really are deliberately destroying the infrastructure, in particular bridges, roads. It all recovers hard. Where these works have already started, somewhere only inventoried those items that have been damaged. And, in fact, will be submitted to the program objects requiring recovery on a special large conference the Ukrainian government will hold an autumn for foreign investors", — says the Deputy.

She added that Ukraine is waiting for international assistance in this issue, because "it is very difficult to find in economically difficult Ukrainian budget for infrastructure rehabilitation and support armies."

No hurry with the allocation of funds to save the region and the West.

Poroshenko during his recent visit to Kiev Angela Merkel declared that counts on donor assistance from the EU in the amount of 500 million euros. Money, according to the President, will go to "restore the infrastructure of Donbass". September 12, already referred to other amounts: at a briefing in Kyiv, the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso pledged that the EU will allocate for these purposes 1 billion euros.

But now it's only promises. In fact, the EU is reluctant to become a donor.

For example, the Netherlands has allocated for the restoration of the Donbass funny 500 thousand euros. Germany for all time of the conflict helped the Ukrainian Donbas in the amount of 3.5 million euros. The U.S. has announced the allocation of Ukraine for these purposes only $7 million.

The people's Deputy from BLOW party Egor Firsov believes: "If we now leave the Donbass decentralized, it will remain subsidized, as rebuild their own broken infrastructure, it will be 50 years".

And the leader of the party "Freedom" Oleg Tyahnybok proposes to charge the money needed for rebuilding the region, with politicians and businessmen whose actions led to this situation.

"The issue of restoration of infrastructure after the Moscow occupation and the security forces should take over the rich — those who led to that situation, and not simple people," he said. And hinted: the oligarchs, especially those from Donbas, we need to impose a new tax, the money from which will go to the restoration of the region.

And yet the presidential initiative, involving participation in the reconstruction of the region of Moscow, looks much more reasonable and potentially much more realistically implemented. Political analyst Pavlo NUSS believes that a compromise on this issue, Moscow and Kiev can reach in November. Special status, he predicted, will receive 20-30% of the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

When will the restoration of the rebellious areas and regions, is unclear.

The head of the faction "Batkivschyna" Sergei Sobolev believes that the process can begin after "the withdrawal of all militants and the Russian army". "Who will restore the Donbas — the militants with guns in their hands? Doubt it," he concluded.

According to him, there is another problem: in the territories controlled by DND and LNR, there is no legitimate government.

"You must first elect the local authorities, to have someone to negotiate", — says head of the PENTA center Volodymyr Fesenko. Maintaining DPR and LPR is unacceptable for Ukraine — clarification of the status of these territories will be the subject of negotiations after 26 October, he expects.


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