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Tuka favours trade with occupied territories

Turns out Ukraine has strategy for the return of Donbass.

Tuka favours trade with occupied territories

The newly appointed deputy minister for the occupied territories and internally displaced persons, Heorhiy Tuka believes it is necessary to resume trade with the occupied territories, which was banned last June.

"There are two opposing points of view. One is to get fenced off with barbed wire. It is absolutely destructive. As a result, we will lose those people mentally and anger them against us. Also, by making [social] payments to the occupied territory, we subsidize the production capacity of the aggressor. The opposite view is to remove all restriction. The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle," Tuka said during a radio appearance.

A Cabinet meeting dedicated to this issue will be held on Thursday, Tuka said on the air of Hromadske Radio.

The deputy minister said he believed that the resumption of trade would be a step towards de-occupation of the Donbass territories. According to him, it is provided for in the national strategy on the occupied territories, of which he has just learned on Wednesday.

"This is one of the stages of the strategic plan. Yesterday I said it did not exist. Today, I saw it myself. Before promulgating this information, it should be properly presented, approved on the level of the president and the National Security Council. Only then it can be unveiled to the public," he said.

Tuka also could not say for sure whether there is money from international funds earmarked for the restoration of Donbass.

"I have repeatedly heard such information. But I can neither confirm nor deny it now. […] Far as I know, the money has already been allocated in the form of intergovernmental loans. The spending of these resources, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired," noted the deputy minister.

On 29 April, Tuka was dismissed from his post as head of the Luhansk regional military and civil administration to be appointed deputy minister for the temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons.