Ion Tomai: «Challenges faced by our country can be solved commonly»

Ocnita district is located in the northeast of Moldova near the border with Ukraine. It is bordered by the Mohyliv-Podilskyi district Vinnytsia region. In this area there are important points of transition Moldovan-Ukrainian border in Otaci and Unguri. The Head of the Ocnita district Ion Tomai spoke about the Ocnita district role in activity of Euroregion «Dniester».

     - Mr. Tomai, you are leading an agricultural district. On your opinion, how can you develop an agricultural area within the Euroregion «Dniester», considering the fact that Vinnytsia region, your partner, agrarian region too?

- Republic of Moldova, for objective reasons can not stay away from the regionalization processes. The presence of an extended state border, historical cultural ties with Ukrainian regions adjacent regions of our state make the development of our relations need. Unfortunately, the agricultural sector after independence of both countries went through great difficulties. It is necessary to increase agricultural production, providing primary support for small farmers and in this sense, the exchange of experiences with our Ukrainian colleagues very relevant. Probably through direct agreements and mutual proposals we need to deal with a chronic problem of inadequate access to foods, through organized support measures in favor of the poorest. It is also possible to cooperate in the field of irrigation or opening mini-factories for processing of fruits and vegetables on the natural juices based on Ukrainian brands.

     - Euroregion «Dniester» exists for almost 2 years. It has combined under the common idea Moldovans and Ukrainians. How did the collaboration of two nations change on the example of your district?
     - In Ocnita district more than one third of the populations are Ukrainians. Therefore, the ​​activities with the aim of harmonization of interethnic relations, promotion of Ukrainian culture, traditions and customs are traditional for our district. On the other hand our people are active participants of such events in Vinnytsia region.
     Among others, it is an international competition of young performers «Podilskiy fountain», the International Children's Painting Competition «Our goal is European prosperity», Ethnic festivals: «Dniester Mermaid», «Unity through diversity», «V-am ura, v-am tot ura» and others.

     - What prospects do you expect for the region Ocnita from cooperation within the Euroregion?
     - We believe that many of the difficulties faced by our countries, we can solve together. For example, the problem of pollution, air quality, energy security, support for terrestrial routes. You need to analyze carefully the common needs and identify priorities and actions that are most suitable for our situation.
      We offer to cooperate in the framework of the Euroregion «Dniester» strategy which includes four main objectives:
- Socio-economic cooperation between border areas;
- The solution of major problems in the area of ​​self-government;
- Ensuring effective work on the reliability of the border;
- Cultural cooperation between people.

To do this, consider it necessary to participate in the Ukrainian capital projects implemented in the territory of the Republic of Moldova. This can be reduced to cooperate in the field of road construction, supply of aggregates - crushed stone, gravel, etc. Cooperation can be mainly at the level of private entrepreneurs and commercial organizations.
     But one of the main activities is to participate in programs and projects aimed at enhancing cross-border cooperation of Moldovan districts and Vinnytsia region. We need to create conditions for the conclusion of appropriate agreements and the development of bilateral programs. Local authorities should encourage public participation in the development process, both at the national and local level.

Administration also seeks to publish articles on border cooperation not only in the local media, but also in the media border regions of Ukraine.

     - What projects can be offered by the Ocnita district for the work and development of the Euroregion «Dniester»?
     - We have several projects, among which can include:
1) Construction of access roads to the new bridge over the river «Dniester» R-9 - Unguri - Ukrainian border 4,935 km long , as well as on the territory of Ukraine in the direction towards Vinnytsia;
2 ) Adjust the flow rate of water of River «Dniester» in extreme situations to avoid flooding of settlements, farmland , as well as for the protection of engineering structures along the river in the «Dniester»;
3) Protection of the river «Dniester» from pollution by building sewage treatment facilities for all objects and maintaining mutual monitoring the efficiency of their work;
4) Construction of authorized landfills and subsequent processing of municipal solid waste;
     I hope that through cooperation within the Euroregion «Dniester» other projects can be implemented too:
1) «The socio-economic situation improvement and investment activity in the settlements located on the bank of the Dniester River district by rehabilitating the road Naslavcea - Otaci»;
2) «Restoring the tourism potential in the area Otaci - Calarasovca»;
3) «Construction of the water distribution system  in Valcinet, Unguri and Otaci»;
4) «Construction of a sewage treatment plant wastewater treatment in Otaci to safeguard and protect the natural biodiversity of the Dniester River».

In conclusion, I want to note that Ukraine is not just for us, the closest neighbor and priority partner, but primarily the state, which is associated with the people of common history, traditions of friendship, common spiritual and cultural roots.

Hopefully in the future on the open character of the productive and intensive dialogue, deepen our contacts and expand cultural exchanges. All this constitutes a solid basis for further development of bilateral relations between the two regions in all areas.

I wish this for everyone to have good health and happiness as well - the good, prosperity, peace, perseverance and victories in addressing critical issues. Success in all your undertakings for the prosperity of our country!

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