What do we do with the Donbas

The main thing — to preserve and develop the state as an instrument of protecting the interests of the Ukrainian people. Three years of conflict in the Donbass does not have advanced problem solving. Ukraine has huge economic costs. So the answer to the question “What do we do with the Donbas?” is the most important part of the answer to the question. “A new time” together with the Ukrainian Institute for the future presented its vision of strategic development of the country — Ukraine: plan for tomorrow. The return of the territory at any cost cannot be an end in itself in Ukraine.

Yuri Romanenko, Director of international programs and domestic policy of the analytical center of the Ukrainian Institute of the future, offers his formula for actions of Ukraine regarding Donbas: first stabilization, then the accumulation of resource that will allow Ukraine to strengthen military, political, diplomatic tools and soft power, then the reintegration of the occupied territories and their reconstruction.

— What should take Ukraine in respect of Donbass?

First, we should not leave the Minsk process, although it is not working. If you break the Minsk agreement, without offering alternatives, the EU and the US simply will not understand and will remove the sanctions. But this does not mean that you should tie our policy of sanctions in complying with the requirements of the West, which protects their interests and can play the Ukrainian card in the package with the other cards (middle East, North Korea and so on).

Secondly, we should adopt a law on occupied territories, which will bring clarity and definition of the essence of the process in the East of Ukraine. You need to clearly define who is the aggressor, who is responsible for aggression, in which relations with the occupied territories we are like the inhabitants of these territories can exercise their rights in the state of Ukraine. This will solve the problem of internal conflicts because the uncertainty of the relationship with L,the DNR gave rise to smuggling and huge abuse that led to the blockade and the tensions in Ukraine.

Third, if the situation so requires, for example, there is a pressure from Western partners, we need to hold a nationwide referendum on the question of the status of the occupied territories. The West will be extremely difficult to put pressure on Ukraine if the position of the state will be based on the decision of the people. Anyway after Breccia such a move would be logical and understandable. We need to focus on that return of the territories was when will we be ready and be able to digest them, to become stronger.

Our policy is to create strength, not weakness. Then no one else can occupy.