On December 8, an extended meeting of the Committee for Public Support for the inhabitants of south-eastern Ukraine was held in the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. As part of the event, the Chairman of the DPR People’s Council Denis Pushilin made a presentation on “The further development of public interregional cooperation with public organizations of the DPR”.
ʺThe initiative of the Committee for Public support for the inhabitants of south-eastern Ukraine to enhance interaction between Donbass and Russia has grown into an integration programme in the Donetsk People’s Republic throughout the year. This work has certainly yielded some results: the foundation for long-term cooperation with several regions of the Russian Federation has been laid, the pace of industry dialogue has been gaining momentum and cultural and humanitarian contacts have increased,ʺ the speaker of the DPR parliament said.
According to Denis Pushilin, 723 events in total were held in 2017 with the participation of the representatives of the DPR and the Russian Federation in nine areas under the integration programme. In particular, these activities were carried out in the areas of culture, sports (including youth policy direction), education, health, and exchange activities in order to establish the work of enterprises under external administration and the cooperation of media representatives, social organizations, trade union movement and deputies corps. In total, according to the speaker, 3 201 people participated in the integration processes. According to the parliamentarian speaker, 3,201 people participated in the integration processes.
Summing up the cooperation within the framework of the integration programme, Denis Pushilin drew the attention of those present to the analysis of the work carried out and outlined plans for the near future.
ʺWe have identified a number of problematic aspects that we would like to address and, thus, move from piecemeal and not always ordered actions to systemic ones, to deep integration of Donbass with Russia. By building partnerships through the signing of treaties and protocols among members of the public, we will be able to formalize these initiatives and, as a result, a number of processes will be more effective in the future, in terms of harmonization and planning for further cooperation.
In order to achieve the objectives of 2018, we have decided to unite all efforts and processes to strengthen the sociocultural relationship between the Russian Federation and the Donetsk People’s Republic through the establishment of a Russian Centre.
It is the Russian Centre, within the framework of the integration programme of Donbass with Russia, which takes charge of making agreements, experience exchange, the study and adoption of legal and regulatory bases for socially important areas of life and the establishment and strengthening of close relations between social and professional communities. We already have an understanding of the future work of the Russian Centre and an activity plan for the first quarter of 2018. A number of forums are planned for this period to discuss and develop joint projects to be implemented throughout the year. The main objective of this work is the deep integration of Donbass with Russia,ʺ the speaker said.
Denis Pushilin gave a special attention to such activity of the Russian Centre as the support of inhabitants residing near front-line territories.
ʺThere is a number of settlements in the DPR that continue to be subjected to heavy shelling. The need for providing food and personal hygiene products, as well as enhanced health care, is extremely high. In November, it was unanimously decided to establish an Interim Commission of the DPR People’s Council to monitor and coordinate activities in the areas most affected by the armed aggression of Ukraine. In the framework of the integration programme, the Commission, together with the Russian Centre, will provide strong support to the people residing near the front-line zone, but we realize that the amount of aid to be delivered needs to be increased in order to cover the needs of our citizens.
About 40 localities have been inspected so far by the members of the Commission. Information on issues of a general nature, as well as on individual residents of the front-line settlements, was collected. Problems requiring immediate response were identified, and some issues were successfully addressed in a working order.
Despite a number of bureaucratic nuances and periodic transport problems, the regions of the Russian Federation provide maximum cooperation. Thus, Moscow is ready to accept the citizens, who live in the settlements subjected to shelling such as Dokuchayevsk, the village of Spartak and Sakhanka, for treatment in this quarter,ʺ the chairman of the DPR said.
According to him, the Russian Centre has set itself a number of ambitious objectives.
ʺToday, under uncertainty of wartime, the public should have a clear understanding of the further course and prospects for the development of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The Russian Centre faces many ambitious goals and plans: the introduction of as many members of the public as possible into the process of deep integration, the doubling of quantitative indicators and the expansion of integration areas…
However, only by carrying a commitment towards strengthening the links between members of the public, steering their activities towards the expansion of overall project initiatives, we will be able to realize the vector of deep integration, the gist of which is a complete integration.
Donbass has always been part of the Russian world: our great-grandfathers built one of the largest industrial regions of the Soviet Union, our grandfathers fought and died in the Great Patriotic War, and today we defend our right to speak our native language. It is my sincere pleasure that we feel the support of Russia on this path and look forward to further cooperation in our common cause,ʺ Denis Pushilin summed up.