Integration into Russian economy, culture and educational system has become a matter of time for Donbass Republics as Ukraine de-facto discarded them and subjected to a complete blockade. Rearrangement of production, logistics and the search for Russian markets are logical solutions for Donbass industry and people.
Today the issues of DPR, LPR and Russia cooperation have been discussed among politicians, social activists and cultural luminaries at the first meeting of the Integration Committee Russia-Donbass, which took place in Crimea, in Livadia Palace near Yalta.


DPR Head Aleksander Zakharchenko and LPR Head Igor Plotnitsky were among the participants of the statutory meeting.

DPR leader said that Ukraine's actions, such as imposing a total blockade, had proved that Republics made the right choice. Ukraine's unwillingness to cooperate has only made Donbass strong and independent, economically ready to re-arrange production to meet the demands of the Russain market.
"The reorganization will take some time, we will come across obstacles, but the process has been launched and is evolwing."

Zakharchenko reminded that it was rather Ukraine who suffered the most because of the blockade, not Donbass.
"Export to Russia have begun, and it is growing," he said.
Plotnitsky said Donbass is a very special land with huge industrial opportunities.

New era of cooperation manifested itself immediately: "Crimea needs our coal and metal," Zakharchenko said. "Donbass needs food and wines produced in Crimea. I believe our cooperation will be a fruitful one. Crimea and Donbass have a common future."

It was mentioned that Donbass is to export "tens of thousands of tons" of coal.
LPR leader supported the move of his counterpart and said LPR planned to export 3.5 million tons of coal in two years to Crimea. "The agreement has been signed and has come into effect. These are the real things, they happen right now."

Natalia Volkova, director of Donetsk state academic theater of music and drama, said the links with Russia had been destroyed during the period Donbass belonged to Ukraine.

Today the ties are being reestablished. "Since November 2016 Republican cultural and social organizations have been engaged in active collaboration with Russian colleagues, about 160 meetings have transpired."

Evgeniy Gorokhov, acting dean of Donbass National Academy of Construction and Architecture said that “Crimea faces a problem in educating PhDs in architecture, ecological safety, construction and public utilities sectors. We are ready to assist and teach them.”

Crimean State Concil speaker Vladmir Konstantiniv suggested tighter cooperation between Donbass and Russian regions should be encouraged following the EU projects pattern.

"This could be Ros-region project, aiming to start joint working preserving the current status."

Today the Integration Committee Russia-Donbass was established in Crimea. Russian MP Andrey Kozenko Russia has been providing large-scale support to DPR and LPR and public coordination is needed, that is why the Integration Committee was created. The committee is to boost humanitarian, social and cultural integration of Donbass to Russia. Several more meetings are scheduled to take place this year, including in Donbass. *ot