24 Sep 2019 17:37

Donbas should be developed without Russian investments - Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council secretary

KYIV. Sept 24 (Interfax) - Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Danylyuk has proposed a new concept for the development of the territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions adjacent to the line of contact with the unrecognized Donetsk and Luhansk republics with the aim of international organizations.

Speaking in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, excerpts from which the National Security and Defense Council press service has quoted, Danylyuk called for concentrating financial resources on the eastern part of Ukraine.

The city of Mariupol has been selected for launching a reconstruction plan for eastern Ukraine and will host an investment forum in October, he said.

New hospitals and schools should be opened in Donbas to turn it into a showcase of reforms in the national medical and education sectors, Danylyuk said.

Ukraine should also provide preconditions for business development by stimulating small and medium-sized businesses, primarily to create the necessary infrastructure, he said.

Danylyuk said he expected international organizations, including the World Bank and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, (EBRD) to be involved in these efforts. "We should do this now. I've handed this concept to the government," he said.

Asked whether Russian investments might be invited, Danylyuk replied: "We don't need Russian investments."

"The war costs us very much, but it's not we who started it," Danylyuk said.

Ukraine is spending 5.4% of its GDP on defense and security and pays pensions, in particular, to those who live in the territories not controlled by Kyiv, and also to 1.3 million internally displaced persons, he said.