The meeting was chaired by the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak. This time, the extended meeting was devoted to the life of hromadas (communities) of Sumy and Chernihiv regions. The previous ones had already discussed important issues of recovery and post-war reconstruction in Kherson and Kharkiv regions.

The new format of the extended meetings of the Presidium provides for communication with the leaders and residents of the territorial communities of the regions. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, central executive authorities, heads of Ukrainian embassies abroad, heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Ukraine, and representatives of Sumy and Chernihiv regions.

“We continue this cycle of meetings focused on the problems of individual regions. Today’s agenda includes a set of issues in the two northern regions bordering the aggressor country. Along with the problems typical for other de-occupied territories, our northern stronghold is characterised by special security challenges: a long border with the enemy, regular shelling, sabotage and subversive acts, and the accompanying humanitarian, social and economic consequences,” said Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak.

According to him, after the de-occupation of the Sumy and Chernihiv Oblasts last April, local authorities and the Government are facing the task of normalising life in the communities.

For his part, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk noted that the platform for discussing the main problems of local and regional development, created at the initiative of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, is proving to be effective.

“Step by step, we are realising and, most importantly, hearing the real needs of the respective communities from primary sources, not hearsay, and jointly developing the best ways to address them,” he stressed.

In addition, the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine noted that Sumy and Chernihiv regions, as well as Kharkiv and Kherson regions, unfortunately, are directly affected by the consequences of russian armed aggression.

“The most regrettable thing is that along with the external enemy, the internal disease – corruption – also causes significant damage. Despite the concentration of all resources on the defence of the state, the general struggle of the Ukrainian nation for survival, some officials put their personal interests above the national ones,” said the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, expressing hope that the resources aimed at rebuilding the regions most affected by the russian invasion will be used as efficiently and as intended.

He stressed that it should be clearly and unequivocally demonstrated to all dishonest officials that they will face fair and inevitable punishment.

During the meeting, the participants also raised a number of important topics, including the start of the heating season, the deployment of and access to the points of invincibility, and the issue of regional recovery.

At the same time, representatives of local communities were heard and their real needs were discussed.

“The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is always ready to introduce the necessary legislative changes to help the regions recover,” the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine emphasised in conclusion.
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