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Issue of unification of Luhansk, Donetsk republics may be raised again in 18 months' time

The issue of uniting the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics (LPR and DPR) may be raised again in eighteen months' time, the speaker of DPR legislature Boris Litvinov told TASS in an interview.

"We have already created a confederation of Novorossiya and its inter-parliamentary assembly. Each side is represented by 30 deputies, but this idea has not been developed further yet," he said.

Litvinov explained that no legislative base was in place at the moment for translating the idea of unification into reality.

"At the same time, we have enough supporters of implementing this project in the future. One should bear in mind that we are at different stages of establishing our own statehood. We have already formed our own parliament and are in the process of creating a Supreme Court. Our counterparts lag behind somewhat. In principle, we have the same goal but we have taken slightly different roads leading to it," Litvinov said. "In any case, the Donetsk and Luhansk republics must go through elections and also restore their historical borders. Then it will be possible to raise the unification issue again."

Elections in Donetsk and Luhansk

Mainly left and centrist political forces will be represented in the elections of deputies to the Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in the east of Ukraine, Litvinov said on Thursday. The registration of the parties has not started yet, he added.

"We so far have no sufficient regulatory documents for this registration. We passed the law on elections, but the regulatory framework for the law fulfilment is also needed," Litvinov said. "I think, the process of parties' registration will be actively launched next week," he added.

The programs of political forces will not radically differ from each other. "I see no major differences," Litvinov said. "I would describe the spectrum of their agenda as 'from the center and to the left'." A number of political forces will be more focused on the problem of medium and small businesses. Other forces will be more concentrated on social problems. The military wing position will also be strong. In addition, the supporters of the united Novorossiya will prevail in political organizations.

As for the presence of international observers at the elections, Litvinov said that a number of countries have already made the relevant applications. "The observers are invited by the Central Election Commission (CEC). Journalists from Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and Syria have already asked me if these countries' observers are welcome to arrive to DPR to monitor our election process. I think a sufficient number of observers will arrive, regardless of whether we want it or not," he said.

DPR is also not against the presence of Kiev's observers at the elections. "As for the official observers, I would admit them to work with us. This is necessary for recognizing our elections in that or other form by the international community. But I don't think that they will send their observers. The thing is that the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine has adopted the law on the special status of Donbass, according to which, the region's elections are to be held on December 7," the DPR parliament head said, adding that the voting on December 7 is out of the question.

No plans to privatize natural resources

Lands and natural resources of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic will not be privatized, local authorities will cancel all decisions under which these resources had earlier been handed over to private property, Litvinov said.

"The Donetsk republican independence declaration holds that lands and its natural resources are owned by state authorities, therefore, they will not be transferred to private property, and the decisions under which they became private will be cancelled," he noted.

Litvinov also called for state control over key industries in the self-proclaimed republic. "There are basic industries which should be under state control. This particularly concerns those industries which provide for pricing -- electric power generation and coalmining. The state authorities should regulate prices of energy carriers, gain profit from them and divide it," Litvinov said, adding that "heavy machine-building, infrastructure facilities, railways, aviation and public transport should also remain in state property."

As for benefits to business, Donetsk republican authorities want to grant the right to private companies to participate in state purchases. "Only major structures, in some way close to the state leadership, have earlier had such possibility in Ukraine," he said, noting that "tax benefits should be granted to those enterprises and companies which participate in a long production cycle."

[Source: Itar Tass, Donetsk, 02Oct14]

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