Ukrainian Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories supports providing benefits to the Donbas
According to the head of the newly created Ministry, an economic blockade of the Donbas is not appropriate because it distances people from Ukraine.
The head of the newly created Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territory Issues, Vadim Chernysh, supports the full payment of pensions and other social assistance for Ukrainian citizens that live in the Donbas."All Ukrainian citizens have equal rights. This is the key message. It is a priority. My position is clear and uncompromising – we will pay," Chernysh said in an interview with Dzerkalo Tyzhnya Weekly, published on Saturday, April 16th. According to the official, an economic blockade of the uncontrolled territories is inconsistent with the declaration of Ukrainian authorities of their intent to integrate them into Ukraine. "If we integrate these territories and people into Ukraine, as directed by the President, Prime Minister, and as was confirmed by billions in social benefits, then what would be the point of an economic blockade? They are two opposing state policies," Chernysh stated.
According to him, the result of such a policy is “dismal." "Smuggling has filled the trade gap. The ruble and Russian goods are dominating in the temporarily occupied territories. People are drifting away from Ukraine. Do we have a reason to deceive someone?" the official asks. He is convinced that "we have to know exactly how many people really live there as residents" in order to realize and plan for the development of the economic and social situation in the Donbas and Luhansk regions.
Earlier, Ukrainian Social Policy Minister, Pavlo Rozenko, stated that according to the estimates of the Security Service of Ukraine, 30-40 percent of "residents" receive benefits in the territory controlled by Ukrainian Government, but live in the so-called "LPR" and "DPR."