Two years ago, the Government took the path to war and declared an Anti-terrorist Operation (ATO) in Donbass. The ATO has led to tens of thousands of casualties and billions of dollars damage to the infrastructure and environment. To resolve this crisis we have to implement the Minsk Agreement, with the aim of bringing peace to Ukraine and recovering the 20% of economic potential that has been wasted as a result of the conflict. According to the People’s Deputy (MP) from the Opposition Bloc, Vadym Novynskyi, the government is obliged to implement these agreements or hold fresh elections.

“Ukraine has the capacity for economic recovery and a growth in people’s real income which could be realised by the restoration of peace and the reintegration of Donbass with Ukraine. According to Government estimates, the country has lost 20% of its economic potential due to the war in the East. Any rational authority would consider this fact alone a sufficient argument to do everything possible to implement the Minsk agreements, the only peace formula to stop the war in Donbass which is recognized worldwide. The Opposition Bloc insists on the implementation of the agreement. Every Ukrainian knows that the country, from Lugansk to the Transcarpathian region, needs the Protocol. Peace will save lives, enable economic recovery and foster a growth in incomes for all our citizens. If the Government fail to restore peace, they should stand down so someone else can do the work”, declared Novynskyi.

The People’s Deputy said that according to Government estimates one day of war costs the country between 115 and 161 million hirvnas (UAH), i.e. 41-59 billion UAH per year. In addition, in 2016 the authorities spent 5% GDP or 114.5 billion UAH on military expenditure. The loss of Donbass means that Ukraine has to import coal from abroad, whereas the country had been self-sufficient in 2013.

“These consequences could have been avoided if, two years ago, the Government had found a peaceful solution to the Donbass conflict. However, even today when the ceasefire has clearly failed, the authorities are still doing nothing to work towards peace. As a result, people continue dying, millions of refugees cannot return home, industrial facilities are shut down and the infrastructure is deteriorating. That is a very high price to pay to satisfy the ambitions of politicians who are putting their ideological doctrines before the interests of the country and its citizens”, said Vadym Novynskyi.

Novynski reported that a peaceful solution to the Donbass situation is the first item a “10 step” bailout package developed by the Opposition Bloc. “Cessation of the ATO and Donbass reunification is the keystone of our programme. These will lead to the recovery of the area’s economic potential, the return of inward investment, the creation of new jobs and an improvement in the standard of living. If the current Government fails to implement this programme then another party will do it after fresh elections are held”, summarised Vadym Novynskyi.