In the annexed Crimea, a presentation regarding “the integration of the Donbas into the Russian Federation” was given at the first conference of the Russia-Donbas Integration Committee which was held on March 17th at the Livadia Palace in Yalta, as reported by Radio Liberty.
The first meeting of the Committee was attended by Igor Carpenter and Alexander Zakharchenko, the leaders of the LPR (Luhansk People's Republic) and DPR (Donetsk People's Republic), respectively. They arrived in the Crimea for the celebration of the third anniversary of the annexation of the peninsula.
The committee chairman is a Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and the deputy chairman is a member of the Russian community in the Crimea, Andrey Kozenko.
In January, Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky came to the Crimea to celebrate the anniversary of the Pereyaslav Rada. Kozenko indicated that he had created a group within the State Duma to maintain "parliamentary contacts" with the LDPR (Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics). At the same time, the idea of the Russia-Donbas Integration Committee was allegedly born.
During a meeting of the committee, Kozenko announced that he had prepared a bill that would abolish the need for labor permits for "citizens of the DPR and LPR.”
The chairman of the Parliament of the annexed Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, proposed the Rossregion Project and within its limits, the full cooperation of all factions will become possible.
Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky claimed they have nothing to do with Ukraine anymore, and the leading partner for the so-called republics is the Russian Federation, in which they hope to enter.
"The last step was the ascension of enterprises from Ukrainian jurisdiction to ORDLO (separatist-held territories of Ukraine) and the payment of wages there." The guilty parties are not the groups that nationalized the enterprises and introduced external management, making it impossible to supply raw materials and ship products to the government-controlled territory. But rather the Ukrainian government, who initiated the blockade until the return of these enterprises back under the control of the owners," Radio Liberty writes.
Plotnitsky stated that coal supplies are coming from Luhansk to the annexed Crimea.
Zakharchenko reported that over the past year, the export of goods from the territory controlled by the DPR faction to Russia "grew by $34 million." And generally speaking, the Donbas, according to him, has something to offer Russian consumers.
According to Zakharchenko, as a result of the transport blockade by the Ukrainians, the enterprises in the uncontrolled territories of the Donbas are already switching over to Russian components and raw materials.
On the morning of March 15th, President Petro Poroshenko, during the opening of the meeting of the NSDC (National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine), proposed to make a decision on a full stop of transport with the occupied territories. The NSDC decided to stop the cargo movement across the contact line.
Poroshenko stressed that Ukraine will abolish the ban on the movement of cargo across the line of demarcation if enterprises in the occupied territories of the Donbas are returned to Ukrainian owners and a ceasefire regime will begin.
The closing of the transport routes into the separatist-held territories of Ukraine does not impact humanitarian supplies.