“It (share of Donbas, - ed.) was once calculated in such numbers as 18-20% of the entire industrial potential of Ukraine. Of course, today it is partially destroyed, partially stopped, partially not functioning. Moreover, the economic blockade, which was criminally, I emphasize - criminally introduced in in the beginning of 2017 by Mr. Poroshenko, - it has further aggravated this problem for preserve this industrial base, for the possibility of its faster recovery and for it's operation in the interests of Ukraine," Medvedchuk noted.
The politician recalled that, by and large, until 2017, enterprises that worked in an uncontrolled territory paid taxes to the budget of Ukraine.
“In 2016, more than 32 billion UAH (1,28 billion USD) was paid by enterprises operating in an uncontrolled territory. I will say more than that - there were all accruals and taxes on the payroll of the people working there, including the military tax that we all pay. That is, a military tax, which was objectively aimed at strengthening the defense and national security of Ukraine, was paid by those people who lived and worked in an uncontrolled territory," Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life Party adds.
According to the politician, the exchange of prisoners, which took place on September 7 between Kyiv and Moscow is the result of direct dialogue and the political will of the two presidents - President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“This would not have happened without this dialogue, without their agreement. This is an indisputable fact,” he emphasized.
At the same time, Medvedchuk noted that there was every reason to consider this dialogue the first step in a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas.
“Moreover, when it comes to our president, Mr. Zelensky, according to sociological studies, 70-75% believe that President of Ukraine Zelensky should start a direct dialogue with Russian President Putin for the sake of peace,” Medvedchuk reminded.
"And now, if this dialogue was so successful in this area, it must continue concerning peace now and a final settlement of the situation in Donbas, which should result in the return of Donbas to Ukraine and Ukraine to Donbas,” he concluded.