During the Regional Development Council of Donetsk region, President Petro Poroshenko stressed that the Russian aggression, the annexation of Crimea, the dissemination of the “Russian world” and the economic blockade had caused significant damage to Ukraine, and especially to Donbas.
“The residents of Donetsk are those who feel the consequences the most. During this war, the region lost a huge part of its industrial potential. Do we still need to tell you how the industry functions there today? Barbarians cut everything for scrap, dismantled what they could and transported equipment to Russia. They seized them (enterprises – ed.), grabbed assets from real owners. The invaders destroyed thousands of houses, destroyed roads, water and gas pipelines. Dozens of industrial enterprises have been shut down, logistics, which had been developing for many years, where huge money had been invested, has been destroyed,” the Head of State emphasized.
The President stressed that Donetsk and the Donetsk region had been completely destroyed, and that had been Putin’s plan, which the Russian-speaking Ukrainians had been the first to suffer from. The Head of State emphasized that Ukrainians had withstood, the authorities had pulled the economy out of the nosedive, compensated for a significant part of the losses, replenished gold and foreign currency reserves, including at the expense of the IMF funds, and allocated them at maintaining stability of the national currency and the financial sector. A significant contribution to the economic growth of Ukraine was made by the signing and implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU and the FTA Agreement. In particular, the EU’s share in the exports of the Donetsk region is 51%. “We have become an important partner and ally of the EU. And this is a reliable market,” Petro Poroshenko said.
The Head of State noted that after the Russian Federation’s aggression in the Kerch Strait against Ukrainian ships, Ukraine had appealed to the EU to introduce the “Azov package” of sanctions and help the Azov-Black Sea coast of Ukraine, including the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk. “You have never had so many foreign guests before. Because we ask every minister, every European Commissioner – come and see that Mariupol needs special attention of the President of Ukraine. And he pays this attention, and the EU does so,” Petro Poroshenko noted.
“According to the results of the assessment mission, the European Union is currently considering options for concrete support measures. We have developed a program of support of Mariupol,” the President emphasized and added that the European support would be aimed at the determined spheres.
“This is a reaction of our partners to the aggressive actions of Russia,” the President stressed.
According to Petro Poroshenko, it is very important that the monitoring over the access for commercial ships to the ports will be carried out. “We are raising the issue of deploying a permanent OSCE SMM mission in the Kerch Strait, as this halt and occupation of the Sea of Azov cause severe damage to the economy of the coastal regions and Ukraine as a whole,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
“The EU program for eastern Ukraine is a program of the restoration and strengthening of peace and governance for the sum of 25 million euros. Additional 10 million in support of our country after the act of aggression,” the Head of State said. According to him, this is a project of the European Investment Bank, which is called “Extraordinary Credit Program for the Recovery of the East of Ukraine” and costs 200 million euros that will be allocated to the already approved projects from the Donetsk region.
According to him, millions of euros and dollars are provided from the governments of Germany, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and others. The Head of State stressed that at each meeting with the leadership of foreign countries, he raised the issue of assistance to Mariupol and Donbas.
The President welcomed the representatives of the United Nations at the meeting, noting that during negotiations with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, they had discussed the possibility of increasing aid, including humanitarian assistance. The Head of State noted the volume of assistance provided by representatives of the ICRC, EU countries, USAID: “Those who together with us create a real showcase of free Ukraine here in the east”.