13 June 2021

Journalists about Southern Development Strategy Forum

On June 10-11, the Southern Development Strategy took place on Arabat Spit, which brought together more than 600 guests on the administrative border with Crimea. Among them are heads of local communities in southern Ukraine, representatives of central executive bodies, diplomatic missions and business. The work of journalists at the Forum helped to realize one of the main goals of the Forum — to attract the attention of stakeholders and potential investors to the southern regions of Ukraine. That is why journalistic materials will best communicate the results of the Forum and its highlights.

Results of the forum

The Southern Development Strategy Forum held on Arabat Spit, took place almost a month after constant reports of a possible military escalation on Ukraine’s state borders by the Russian Federation.

The forum brought together heads of local communities in southern Ukraine, representatives of executive authorities, and diplomatic missions. The main topic of discussion at the Forum was the region’s investment projects. Simultaneously, dozens of panel discussions were held, which presented projects for the reintegration of the southern regions in various fields.

The forum was held under the patronage of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and the heads of five regional state administrations of southern Ukraine.

In two days, delegates presented projects to improve street safety in the cities of the South through the use of artificial intelligence, the creation of flights between Odesa and Mariupol, upgrading the infrastructure of Arabat Spit, and improving the environmental condition of the whole region.

Also, the construction of a new gas pipeline, construction of treatment facilities in settlements on the administrative border with the occupied Crimea, reconstruction of Kherson airport, and dozens of other projects for the development of the southern region were presented at the International Investment Forum “Southern Development Strategy”.

In addition, the forum resulted in the signing of a joint communiqué of local government representatives — Kherson, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Odesa, and Donetsk regions, which confirms the unity of the position of southern Ukraine —areas along the Azov and Black Seas, from Mariupol to Izmail.

According to Olga Kvasnytska, a deputy of the Odesa City Council, in her interview with Channel 7, the Forum showed the success of the development of the South, which is extremely important for counteracting the hostile information policy of the Russian Federation.

Highlights of the Forum

According to Dom TV channel, during the first day of the Forum on June 10, Yuri Gusev, head of the Ukroboronprom state concern, said that in the southern regions, Ukroboronprom had put out privatization of some enterprises that contribute to the region’s development.

He noted that Ukroboronprom has already transferred part of the enterprises and there is an opportunity to attract investments to the Kherson region. Ukroboronprom is also working to fulfill the President’s order – the development of shipbuilding in Ukraine and is actively involved in the development of mechanical engineering, industrial development of the regions, which is a very important impetus for the southern region.

On the same day, during the investment forum “Southern Development Strategy”, the Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko stated that Kherson is the most promising region of all the southern regions of Ukraine in terms of tourism development. The Minister also added that in terms of tourism, the government emphasized the development of the Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve, which is a “tourist magnet”, but also concluded that it should not be limited to just one reserve.

In addition, according to Ukrinform, Oleksandr Tkachenko stated during the forum that the development of culture in the regions is a tool for economic growth.

The Minister also commented on the development of tourism in the Kherson region, in particular ecological: “Eco- and green tourism is really gaining popularity in Ukraine and around the world over the past few years. This type of tourism has become almost the only one that has been positively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic within domestic tourism. The absence of mass gatherings, minimal contact with the outside world, nature, and clean air — all this has become extremely important given the quarantine restrictions and restrictions in large cities and agglomerations.

In addition, on the first day of the Forum, First Deputy Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Rostyslav Zamlynsky stated that it is profitable for international partners to invest in Ukraine because in this way they not only support Ukraine but also strengthen their own security.

Also on June 10, the Forum discussed the prospects for the development of air services in the southern regions of Ukraine. Executive director of UkSATSE Andriy Yarmak said that Kherson airport will be able to increase passenger traffic after the end of quarantine restrictions.

According to him: “Today the opening of the airport is very important for our region and the whole Donetsk region. Because without the opening of airspace, without flights, the territory will not develop properly. “

On the same day, Oleksandr Kurinny, director of AxxonSoft, told during the Forum how artificial intelligence is already used in some Ukrainian cities to identify people and objects.

On the second day of the forum, June 11, the head of the Kherson regional council Oleksandr Samoilenko stated that dozens of infrastructure projects are being implemented in the Kherson region today. According to the chairman of the regional council, this is the best indicator that it is necessary to invest in this region, and it is quite safe. In addition, he shared that 320 million UAH is included in the regional budget for the reconstruction of the runway of Kherson airport.

Suspilne Novyny notes that the head of the Kherson Regional State Administration Serhiy Kozyr stated that 13-15 billion hryvnias are needed to restore irrigation in the Kherson region.

Minister of Agrarian Policy Roman Leshchenko commented online. He said that the resumption of irrigation in the Kherson region is a priority for the government. Among the main issues is the cost of electricity for irrigation.

In addition, the Center for Journalistic Investigations mentioned that a project to build a 96-kilometer gas pipeline in the Henichesk district was presented during the forum.

Ivan Chornyi, Deputy Director of the Kherson Regional State Administration’s Territorial Development Department, said: “We’ve developed a project of main gas pipeline from the Askania-Nova Nature Reserve to Henichesk. The implementation of this project will allow developing the gas supply system in the surrounding areas, through which it will pass. If all goes well, consumers of Novotroitsk district and Henichesk district will be provided with gas. “

And the head of the Kherson regional state administration Sergey Kozyr added that the construction of the gas pipeline will allow reducing the price of gas for the local population.

The deoccupation of the Crimean Peninsula is also one of the main issues raised at the forum. Nowadays media support in this issue is very important, says the general director of the state enterprise “Multimedia Platform of Foreign Broadcasting of Ukraine” Yulia Ostrovska.

Also, Espresso pointed out that the First Deputy Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Rostyslav Zamlynsky stated during the forum that full reintegration of the occupied territories will occur only after the mental reintegration of their inhabitants.

He added that the steps that the government plans to implement in the framework of information reintegration are set out in the policy documents that will be submitted for approval by the Cabinet of Ministers: Strategies of development of the South of Ukraine and Strategies of economic development of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

On the same day, at the Forum, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Japarova stated that the Crimean Platform is not only of international importance but also of domestic and even regional significance. Because increasing international attention to the problem of Crimea automatically increases attention to the regions of Ukraine bordering the occupied peninsula.

She also stated: “It is very symbolic that today at the forum we are launching a communiqué and actually announcing the creation of a local dimension of the Crimean platform in this place — in the village of Strilkove, which was once called Chokrak — ” source “. This is part of southern Crimea until the 50s. And it seems to me that this symbolism is difficult to overestimate. “

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