The Ministry of defense of Ukraine and Odessa regional state administration agreed to a compromise to reserve “Tarutino steppe”.

According to the press service of RSA, during his visit to Odesa region, Minister of defence Stepan Poltorak as they are with the head of the Odessa regional state administration Maxim Stepanov agreed to increase the reserve of 800 hectares to 6 hectares and about providing sanctuary state status.

“Under no circumstances plowing Tarutino steppe will not. And after the establishment of the reserve of the state value, he will be protected by the relevant documents. We this phenomenon is stopped”, – quotes the words of M. Stepanova press service.

In addition, on part of the land of the defense Ministry plan to do a training centre for the Ukrainian Navy.

In turn, S . Poltorak noted that the protected area will not be touched, but people who have already signed a contract for the processing of land related to the landfill site, will be able to work in the future.

“This is the land which is designated land as security for range. The only requirement is to promptly and honestly pay taxes and, most importantly, do not steal. That was not when the contract is signed on 300 hectares, and plowed 400”, – said S. Poltorak.

As reported, in November 2016, the world wildlife Fund (WWF) has accused the Ministry of defence of Ukraine in the destruction of a unique landscape reserve “Tarutino steppe”.

“Landscape reserve “Tarutino steppe”, which preserves the last intact steppe ecosystems of Ukraine, now open the local farmers had contracts with the Ministry of defence (to whom this land actually belongs). Of 5200 hectares of the reserve, which is the object of natural reserve Fund of Ukraine and protected by the law, about 1500 hectares destroyed,” – said the press service of the Fund.

WWF recalled that earlier this and adjacent areas was used as a military range, but it was disbanded and its lands related to the land reserve. 26 APR 2012 on the part of the lands of the former polygon, by the decision of the Odessa regional Council No. 445-VI was created by one of Ukraine’s largest steppe reserve sites – reserve “Tarutino steppe”.

However, defense Ministry officials decided to return the former military training ground (more than 24 thousand hectares), including the territory of the reserve.

According to WWF, the natural value of Tarutino steppe can be compared with the world-famous Askania-Nova. Landscape Tarutino steppe has a great cultural significance since it is one of the last remaining steppe lands not only in Ukraine but also in Europe.

Sanctuary is a place of distribution of many species of plants listed in the Red book of Ukraine, and habitats are included in Resolution 4 of the international Convention for the protection of wild flora and fauna and natural habitats in Europe (Bern Convention) 1979

In March of this year, the head of Odessa regional state administration Maxim Stepanov, the head of the Odessa regional Council Anatoly Urban stated that they intend to maintain reserve “Tarutino steppe” and giving it National Park status.