Today, January 24, the Voronezh Region has joined the Euroregion “Donbass” International Association, including the Lugansk and the Donetsk regions (Ukraine) and the Rostov Region (Russia). The agreement was signed during the VI Meeting of the Council of the Euroregion “Donbass” in Lugansk (Ukraine).

The Chairman of the Lugansk Regional Administration, the co-chairman of the Euroregion “Donbass” Vladimir Pristyuk noted that this meeting was a landmark for the Association, because the Voronezh Region also joined the three regions on that day.

- We are waiting for concrete proposals on further cooperation from all the participants of the Euroregion, but, of course, economic issues are of primary importance for us, - said Vladimir Pristyuk.

According to him, the union of all the International Association members can help to develop business in the four regions. To do this, he suggested the inter-regional cooperation. The project for the establishment of such cooperation may be considered at the next meeting of the Euroregion “Donbass”.

In his welcoming remarks, the Governor of the Voronezh Region Alexey Gordeev said that the Voronezh, the Rostov, the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions are united not only by common administrative and national boundaries, but also by their common history, culture, well-established links between enterprises and local residents, including links to relatives.

- I think that participation of the Voronezh Region in mutual projects for the development of the inter-regional and cross-border cooperation within the Euroregion “Donbass” will be another historic milestone in the relationship not only between our regions, but also between Russia and Ukraine,
Alexey Gordeev, the Governor of the Voronezh Region

Alexey Gordeev noted that the entry of the Voronezh Region in the Euroregion “Donbass” makes this cross-border integration cooperation the largest in Europe with a population of over 13 million people. It is a powerful foundation for the expansion of the social and economic cooperation between the participants of the Euroregion.

- Business, culture, science, education, and all the residents of the Voronezh Region are looking forward to this integration process, - stressed the Governor. - This is a huge potential. The Euroregion unifies more than 13 million citizens, and it is certainly a substantial foundation for social and economic interaction of its participants.

Alexey Gordeev suggested holding the next meeting of the Euroregion “Donbass” scheduled for May 16, 2014 in Voronezh. The participants of the meeting supported this initiative unanimously.

A number of contracts and cooperation agreements were also signed during the meeting - between the Government of the Voronezh Region and the Lugansk Regional State Administration, between the Lugansk City Council and the Voronezh City Administration, between the Markov District State Administration of the Lugansk Region and the Administration of the Boguchar District of the Voronezh Region, between the Melovskaya District State Administration of the Lugansk Regionand the Administration of the Kantemirovskiy District. In addition, major research centers of the two countries – the Donetsk Scientific Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Southern Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Voronezh State University, the Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University entered into cooperation agreements.

As part of the Voronezh Region delegation the Voronezh Regional Duma Chairman Vladimir Kluchnikov, the Mayor of Voronezh Alexander Gusev, the President of the Regional Chamber of Commerce Yuri Goncharov, the Rector of the VSU Dmitry Endovickiy, the heads of structural divisions of the Regional Government, the heads of Boguchar and Kantemirovskiy districts administrations, and the regional business community representatives also arrived in Lugansk.

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