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What is reintegration of the Donbas?

According to the results of the Kalmius Group research, not all Ukrainians understand the meaning of the term «reintegration». The majority of people who took part in the survey thuoght that it means only the process of peace talks but there is no full understanding. So what is reintegration? We will try to explain this.

«It is not surprising that people do not understand the meaning if this term as politicians from different factions attach different meanings the word «reintegration», said Vitaliy Sizov, the Kalmius Group expert.

Initially, the Law on Restoration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine on Temporarily Occupied Territory of the Donbas was presented by politicians as the law on «reintegration» though, in fact, it is a law about defense policy which does not deal a lot with reintegration issues.
Others say that economic blockade means liberation.

Reintegration in its original sense is peaceful return of those Donbas areas which are not controlled by the Ukrainian government now into united Ukrainian space.

The only mechanism for returning these territories which has been approved internationally is the Minsk Agreements.

The key point of these Agreements which is ceasefire has not been fulfilled yet but they have their own upsides.

• The intensity of hostilities has decreased thus decreasing the number of casualties among servicemen and civilians.
• Some problematic issues such as restoring work of Vodafone, Ukrainian mobile operator on the territory which is not controlled by Ukraine.
• The Minsk Agreements allow Ukraine to consolidate support of the international community.

Ukrainian authorities took some steps to implement the Minsk Agreements long ago.

Bills on amnesty and on the special order of local self-government in separate districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions were passed in 2014. This fact helps Ukraine retain financial and military support of the international community.

The Ministry of Temporarily-Occupied Territories and IDPs was established to facilitate the process of peaceful reintegration of the temporarily-uncontrolled territories.

Currently, Ukraine does not have enough enough power to return the territories by force thus, it should concentrate on creating maximally-favourable conditions for residents of uncontrolled territories to make their life in occupation easier and to help them preserve their ties with Ukraine.

Here we mean paying social welfare allowances, helping obtain Ukrainian documents, giving opportunities to get education on the territory which is controlled by Ukrainian authorities, all these things allow people to remain Ukrainian citizens despite the occupation.

«Reintegration means uniting, not separation», said Vitaliy Sizov.


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