Oleksandr Klymenko Official website
Articles | 1493 | 21.11.2014

What to do with Donbas?

Nowadays who's responsible for millions of Ukrainian citizens in the East?

National Bank will cease bank accounts services for citizens in the ATO zone.

There is no answer to this question. We can only observe the number of unsuccessful attempts to resolve the problem of Donbas by means of political and military methods. These attempts have led to the prospect of becoming the reservation for this region instead restoration of Donbas. Do we want Ukraine go down in history as a country, which limited its citizens and left 3.5 million people on the edge of survival?

Personally me – not. It would be our national dishonor, which we have to redempt for a long time in future.

I’m not exaggerating. In the latter decision of National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Ukrainian state admitted that it refuses to comply with its obligations under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Millions of people were informed that the government is not going to protect their rights.

Including the right to life. This is not an exaggeration. When the state refuses to pay pensions and social benefits to Donbas residents, it violates Art. 46 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which guarantees citizens the right to social protection. In addition, it violates the provisions of European Social Charter, which was ratified by our country.

Millions of people are discriminated on a territorial basis. How many of them will survive until spring without means of subsistence? There are some messages about deaths from starvation in the media. It is painful and frightening. Is it possible in a civilized country?

The government does not offer any evacuation program or prepared places for the resettlement of those pensioners, who are ready to leave the region.

It seems that Europe and Russia are more concerned about the citizens of Ukraine than Ukrainian government. Experience shows that all those, who left ATO area, would be on their own. So what’s the difference where to die because of the starvation and ailment – at home or in a foreign land?

I really understand people, who opts for home. Ukrainian pension is hardly enough for food and medicine. Can you rent or buy a home in another region for such pension? Is it possible to do these things for an elderly man, who can not get up out of bed?  I think the answers are obvious.

In addition, the President offers National Bank to stop servicing bank accounts of business and citizens in ATO area.  He offers it because formally the National Bank – is an independent body. Thus, the head of the state has no right to order it.  However, if there is no full confidence in support of the regulator, such offer will not be included in the text of the decree.

How will this decision be carried out? There are two options. The first one is – the account will not be served exactly on uncontrolled territories. Second one is – the accounts, which were opened in these areas, will not be served elsewhere. The first would be the lesser evil. However, it follows from the text that the second option will be selected.

It will lead to the complete isolation of an unstable region and to the harm of the residents, who have moved to other regions. Plethora IDPs took their bank cards (except for documents). They were living due to their meager savings. Nowadays, they will have nothing.

Plethora elderly people were living there through the support of their children and grandchildren, who sent them money from other regions or from abroad. These seniors will have no pension, no family support. Thus, taxes for the companies, which are operating in ATO area, were not canceled. Some entrepreneurs were able to get a certificate of force majeure and delay payment until the end of the war (which was not announced). However, tax liabilities (including social contributions) are charging.

Many countries have overcome armed conflicts. None of it exposed its citizens in a complicated situation. Serbia, for instance, paid not only pensions, but also supported its salaried personnel during two years after the declaration of independence of Kosovo. Serb doctors and teachers obtained salaries from Belgrade. These salaries were higher than in Kosovo.

Russia has not stopped the payments during the fighting in Chechnya.

It means that there are opportunities for solutions. Is there a desire? It is possible that Ukrainian authorities got stuck due to the budget stalemate. Frankly speaking, State Fiscal Service, has failed the task of filling the budget.

Business promptly goes into the shadow; big business removes its capital assets due to the non-functioning of the transfer pricing. The volume of indirect export grows, 70% of the goods are exporting through intermediaries, non-residents from low-tax jurisdictions.

In terms of increasing the fiscal burden in October, general fund of state budget has received only 80.9% of the planned revenues. Although, the proper work organization could get funds out from the “shadow”. The expanses of meager budget are still «cloudy». Anti-corruption bureau has not been launched.

There are many problems. It is inhumanely not to resolve these problems and to condemn millions of people on the starvation. Populism will not replace the reforms and mock radicalism will not hide incompetence.

I can not understand those people, who support the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. The government have exposed its citizens in the east in the complicated situation. Why do you think that the government in case of critical situation Kiev, Ternopil, Cherkasy, Sumy will do otherwise?

It is necessary to look for the solutions. If no one sees it, it does not mean that there is no answer.

I understand that it is difficult for the government. Ukrainian citizens are still ready to wait for its effective work. There is a credit of trust. It makes no sense to criticize the statements of the government.

Nowadays, we need not promises, but specific solutions. If no one sees it, it does not mean that there is no answer.

Under my initiative, an internet project «Restoration of Donbas» has been launched. It is – a special website, where we can discuss possible solutions of the problems (which were listed here) and other painful issues. In the end, all natives (those, who have remained in ATO area and those, who have left it) can decide the fate of their native land. I am sure.


Link to source: Forbes

Photo: GettyImages/fotobank.ua