The establishment of a common economic and customs space does not mean the unification of the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic, LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik said an interview with the Russian media outlet Izvestia.
“It’s not about the administrative unification of the Republics,” Pasechnik said. “To put it simply, the establishment of a common economic and customs space is not the consolidation into one republic. The European Union, with its uniform economic and other standards, is not considering the unification of Belgium and France. Why should we? The LPR and the DPR are brotherly republics, and our brotherhood is bonded by blood.”
He underlined that the Republics “have to make the border between the LPR and the DPR practically invisible for residents while the crossing of the border with Russia must not create economic or administrative problems for them.”
“Together with the DPR, we’ve established a common customs space and are working on harmonizing the legislation not only between our Republics but also on its conformity to standards of the Eurasian Economic Community. No matter how strange it may sound, it is a step towards fulfilling the Minsk Agreements; we develop cross-border cooperation not only between the LPR and the DPR but also with Russian regions,” Pasechnik said.
The authorities are working on simplifying conditions for running business in the territory of the Republics, he went on.
“Business people and investors should not feel the difference in approaches practiced in the EurAsEc states and the Donbass Republics. They should feel and use the advantages we can offer,” the LPR Head said.
He underlined that “this approach should breathe a new life into the productions that are currently inactive in the Republic but have a considerable potential which implies dozens of thousands of new jobs with decent remuneration."
“This must become the key result of our economic integration processes,” Pasechnik said.
He reminded that Lugansk and Donetsk have been competing for leadership in Donbass for more than a century.
“It is the competition that yielded most of the results, so why ruin it? Residents’ interests are the first basic criterion for such actions. It’s not an issue for them. There are matters of security, economic rebuilding, social protection etc. None of them is resolved by the unification of the Republics, but some outside forces are very concerned about it for some reason,” Pasechnik said.
“Such decisions must be advantageous to both sides and should not infringe upon anyone’s interest,” he said calling for leaving the right to make such decisions to those who live in the Donbass Republics.
Earlier, Pasechnik said that the LPR and the DPR would establish a common economic and customs space that conforms to the legislation of the Russian Federation.
On October 1, LPR State Customs Committee personnel stopped customs control on the border with the DPR. *i*s