FEZ has a crucial role in resolving problems of Donbas, – Oleksandr Klymenko
22:45 / 13 Feb. 2015 / 381
The creation of the Donbas Free Economic Zone would solve issues related to the economic renovation in the region and would be the optimal form of its economic reintegration into Ukraine. Oleksandr Klymenko, the founder of the community initiative “Restoring Donbas” wrote about it in his column «The Devil in the Donetsk Deal Details» Newsweek.
During the commenting events connected with the idea of creating a free economic zone in the Donbas, O. Klymenko said that after the statements, which were casually expressed by Poroshenko, FEZ in Donbas remains only on the level of ideas to think about. Explaining the reasons for this, Oleksandr Klymenko stated that “part of the answer is the limited horizons envisaged by much of Ukraine’s government, which has chosen a shortsighted policy of isolation”.
“They have instituted a social, humanitarian and financial blockade of the region, restricting the movement of citizens while continuing military operations. Too many Ukrainian leaders (as well as some in Europe) mistakenly believe that the deterioration of living conditions for citizens who have remained in the unrecognized republics is a sure-fire way to restore pro-Ukrainian sympathies”, – stated O. Klymenko.
The founder of the “Restoring Donbas” is sure that the inevitable result of this approach is not only a worsening humanitarian disaster. It will also usher in the dawn of a new grim reality for Donbas, where human relationships and administrative and political norms are changed entirely and irrevocably.
“Although it’s not an all-encompassing solution to Donbas’ problems, an FEZ would make enormous sense. Rather than incurring a massive military expenditure, Donbas would become a region that attracts investment. Moreover, the FEZ would leave intact the territorial integrity of the state while recognizing the East’s traditionally distinct regional identity, and give Donbas a genuine strategic importance as a bridge between Europe and Russia”, – declared Oleksandr Klymenko.
The founder of the community initiative “Restoring Donbas” noted that overall, the number of FEZs is growing globally, with around 1,200 in existence at a growth rate of about 7 percent annually. The United States, Japan, the European Union and South Korea have all used hybrid versions of FEZs to create incentives for business.
“The only significant question mark is the attitude of the Ukrainian government. The longer Ukraine tries to fence off Donbas through a blockade and silence, the harder it will be to restore peace and ultimately rebuild the region”, – concluded Oleksandr Klymenko.