Oleg Tsarev on the Prospect of Unifying the DPR and LPR

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

19:43:48
27/11/2017

ukraina.ru

A man who became a speaker of the parliament of Novorossiya in 2014 told Ukraina.ru that the unification of the DPR and LPR took place already long ago – there is a parliament and a constitution. It is only left to appoint executive power…


Due to the political crisis in Lugansk, talk started again about the unification of the LPR and DPR. What is needed to be done so that unification takes place?

“In principle, nothing special is needed in order to unite the DPR and LPR. Only political will is needed. In 2014, before Minsk-1, both Donetsk and Lugansk deputies voted for the unification of the two republics, the creation of the union of the people’s republics, and the Constitution of Novorossiya. The parliament of Novorossiya was founded. The next step should’ve been the creation of executive power.”

And what prevented this from happening?

“The signing of the Minsk Agreements in September, 2014. The idea of Novorossiya contradicted the Minsk Agreements, that’s why the creation of executive power was postponed.”

Now this topic became actual again or not?

“Yes, this subject is actual. If sociological research was today conducted among the inhabitants of the DPR and LPR, then you would see the high popularity of the idea of unification among the masses. And for many reasons. For example, in this way it is much more simpler to resolve issues of defense and business. It is abnormal when there are two tax laws: one for the DPR, another for the LPR. And it’s not clear why there is a need for a customs between Donetsk and Lugansk.

There’s already a Ukrainian border, and Russia hasn’t exactly removed its border, and added to all this – a border between the republics was established. Why is it necessary? Some things in Donbass look absurd. For some reason the railroad between the Republics was also divided. Regardless of whether there will be unification of the Republics, customs should be removed, coordination between militaries should be introduced, and legislation should be unified.”

Many representatives of the Lugansk elite are traditionally against unification with Donetsk. After all, this can negatively affect unification…

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“I agree, a number of Lugansk and Donetsk officials object to Novorossiya’s creation. It is easily explainable. If unification happens, then the number of officials will decrease due the elimination of duplicate functions.

So the approach of officials, on the one hand, and ordinary people and businessmen, on the other hand, strikingly differs.

The union of the people’s republics was created with the aim of a number of regions of Ukraine, or even all of Ukraine, joining them. It is no secret that it is possible to solve the problem of Ukraine only if it [Ukraine – ed] is created anew.

And when we were creating such a construction as the union of the people’s republics, we provided for it such a State structure as confederation. We considered that maximum local powers must be given.”

Where was the capital of the created anew State supposed to be?

“In 2014 every republican parliament delegated 30 deputies to Novorossiya’s parliament. I managed to convince the Lugansk and Donetsk council that in the structure of these 60 deputies of the parliament of Novorossiya there must be representatives of Kharkov, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and other regions of Southeast Ukraine. We did this taking into account the fact that Novorossiya will expand. If the number of republics was more, then there wouldn’t be any questions about where the capital will be.

Since back then there were two regions, it was difficult to solve the issue: what city — Donetsk or Lugansk — should the capital be in. That’s why we were obliged to hold meetings sequentially. In the regulations it was written: if today we hold a session of parliament in Lugansk, then next time we will gather in Donetsk. We worked in such a way in order to not pinch the self-pride of any of the republics.”

And after all, who will be the main person in the unification of the republics — the leader (or President) or parliament?

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“We began this interview with the fact that executive power of Novorossiya wasn’t created, there was only a parliament. It is the republics themselves that will decide how the leadership will be formed, if nevertheless a decision on unification will be made.”

Oleg Tsarev is ready to come back to his position as the speaker of the parliament of Novorossiya?

“If the Motherland demands it, I will return. But I want to say that there are enough decent and professional people in Donetsk and Lugansk who could head the process of unification without my participation.”

You say that it is necessary to create Ukraine anew. Some time ago Aleksandr Zakharchenko, at the suggestion of his advisers — Aleksandr Kazakov and Zakhar Prilepin — stated a similar idea. However, instead of Novorossiya back then there was talk about Malorossiya. What to do here? After all, it is impossible to simultaneously establish two states on one territory.

“It seems to me that any name of our country that includes the word ‘Russia’ will be better than ‘Ukraine’. On the other hand, how it’s called — Ukraine, Malorossiya, Novorossiya — isn’t important. What’s important is that we would be together with Russia, and not against Russia.”

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