"Already today, we are building a new Donbas in the free territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions: modern, safe and prosperous. But special economic conditions are needed to restore the region most affected by Russian aggression. We need the strategy of economic development of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which will include tax and customs preferences, military and political risk insurance for investors, arbitration according to international standards. The elaboration of this strategy has already begun," President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in his address on the internal and external situation in Ukraine to the Verkhovna Rada, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
The Head of State noted that all citizens of Ukraine should understand what would happen after the liberation and return of the occupied territories. "Once we have achieved peace, we will begin a safe reintegration, drawing on successful international experience. This is a package of laws on transition period and, primarily, responsibility. There is much room for manipulation here," he said, noting that amnesty does not concern everybody and does not mean avoiding responsibility. It concerns millions of Ukrainian citizens who do not have blood on their hands and who actually are held hostage by the occupiers. "They need a clear signal that they have nothing to be afraid of and that the decent future is possible only with Ukraine," Zelensky said.
Peace in Donbas and de-occupation of Crimea are key priorities, the President stressed.
"Unfortunately, the issue of Crimea has never been on the agenda of the Normandy format. But it has been and will always be on our agenda. As long as Crimea remains occupied and Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are regularly persecuted there, the world must not forget about Crimea,” Zelensky said.
He noted that new effective tools should be found for compliance with the Budapest Memorandum.
"We are looking for new effective tools for this. The issue of Crimea has been returned to the international agenda. We are creating the Crimean Platform format. This is a coordination of international efforts to protect the rights of Crimeans and to de-occupy the peninsula. I have already discussed this initiative in detail with representatives of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Turkey, and other partners. Many of them are ready to join and take an active part in it," the President of Ukraine assured.
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