KIEV, November 5. /TASS/. Ukraine’s government provides almost no funding to restore housing facilities in the country’s war-ravaged east. Restoration work in eastern territory shattered by conflict between government forces and local militias is being carried out with the help of volunteers and international humanitarian organizations.
These topics and more were discussed on Wednesday during a news conference devoted to housing restoration in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Only a few tower block dwellers in the cities of Slavyansk and nearby Kramatorsk have received support from the state after the end of hostilities, while a large number of private property owners have been left with nothing. Some volunteer and humanitarian organizations both of Ukraine and the West are trying to provide as much help as possible to the conflict-hit eastern regions.
“Volunteers should involve the government in restoration work. Besides houses, it is necessary to restore factories, thermal power plants and electricity transmission lines,” said Ivan Saliy, president of the All-Ukrainian Union of Construction Material Producers.
“We should not expect any gifts,” Saliy said, noting that neither Western nor Ukrainian businessmen were going to rebuild cities in the east at their own expense.
Asked why Ukrainian government officials do not participate in the discussion, the moderator of the event and the chairwoman of the Donetsk Press Club, Tatyana Stroy, explained that the Ukrainian Ministry of Regional Development rejected an invitation to attend the meeting over the lack of a decision on providing any funding to the eastern regions.
Earlier on Wednesday Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Kiev was suspending payments of social benefits for residents of Donetsk and Luhansk.
He said the government would ordinarily have paid around 34 billion hryvnia ($2.5 billion) into the local budgets of the two regions in 2014, but these funds would be disbursed only once Ukraine regained control of the territories.