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Mariupol’s Azovstal plant may be replaced by small modern enterprise, says mayor

On May 20, the Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman said that the Russian military had completely liberated the Azovstal plant

MARIUPOL, July 14. /TASS/. Mariupol Mayor Konstantin Ivashchenko thinks that the Azovstal plant can be replaced by a small modern enterprise or a technological cluster with an adjacent recreational zone, but this should be decided by experts and local residents.

"Experts and residents will have the final say. In my opinion, certainly, a technological cluster [should be developed there], while the area near Azovstal - by the sea - should be a recreational zone. As of today, these are just ideas. Perhaps, some small but modern production site which would boost employment in the city, this is also a crucial issue right now," he said in an interview with TASS.

In June, on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin said that it was quite likely that the premises of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol would become a technological cluster. Replying to a question on the matter, the city mayor stressed that a decision had not yet been made.

"The commission is working hard and experts are toiling away, the structural damage of buildings and infrastructure is being assessed, [as well as] the devastation of Azovstal’s industrial and technological infrastructure," he noted. "We will organize focus groups and find out what people think about this matter. Currently, the issue is up in the air. In any case, the proposals introduced by the head of the republic currently take priority," the mayor noted.

On May 20, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the Russian military had completely liberated the Azovstal plant, where the remnants of a hardline Ukrainian militant formation in Mariupol had been holed up. As the DPR leader stated earlier, the local residents were against restoring the plant which is considered to be the culprit for heavy pollution and high cancer rates in that area.