LVOV, October 3. /TASS/. A total of 50% of infrastructure has been destroyed as a result of hostilities in Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine seeking independence from Kiev), Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Friday.
“Forty-two percent of the industrial potential, half of infrastructure have been lost in the region, mines have been flooded, blast furnaces and coke-chemical batteries have been stopped,” Poroshenko, on a working visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lvov, said.
“The task to restore Donbass is difficult. But my trips around the world show that we will be able to collect $1 billion from investors and restore Donbass very soon,” he said.
Earlier, Poroshenko pledged to allocate $1 billion to rebuild embattled Donbass. “Reconstruction will be made through a special state budget fund and a non-state fund,” the Ukrainian president told journalists in Kiev.
Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s punitive operation designed to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, have claimed some 3,500 lives, many of them civilian, according to UN data, forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast and caused massive destruction.
Talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk saw the parties to the Ukrainian conflict agree on cessation of fire and exchange of prisoners two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
The ceasefire took effect the same day but reports said it has occasionally been violated.
Poroshenko, dubbed “the chocolate king” because his structures control Ukraine’s Roshen confectionery manufacturer, won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine set by the provisional Kiev authorities propelled to power during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. He had funded anti-government protests that led to the coup.