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Donetsk Regional Council condemns calls for separation from Ukraine

March 03, 2014, 22:12 UTC+3 DONETSK
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DONETSK, March 03, /ITAR-TASS/. The Donetsk Regional Council on Monday, March 3, condemned calls for the separation of the region from Ukraine.

“Events of the last few days have endangered civil peace and calm in the region. Stability in Ukraine and the Donbass [a historical, economic and cultural region of eastern Ukraine, a coal mining area since late 19th century] has unfortunately been put at risk by hasty decisions of politicians and actions of provocateurs and extremists,” the Council said in a statement adopted at its urgent meeting.

“We wholeheartedly believe in the supremacy of law and law for all. We are against radicalism and condemn any aggression under the cover of ‘revolutionary expediency’. We demand immediate disarmament and liquidation of illegal armed groups,” the statement said.

Regional deputies said they did not support Kiev’s decision to annul the law on regional languages and on the dissolution of the Interior Ministry’s Berkut anti-riot police force.

“Especially dangerous are the steps that are aimed at undermining trust in law enforcement agencies. They provoke our citizens to look for different forms of self-defence,” the deputies said.

They believe that the situation in the region can be settled through “balanced and wise decisions” with “the most pressing issues of public life being submitted to a local referendum.”

The deputies urged the Verkhovna Rada (parliament of Ukraine) to “immediately adopt a law on local referendums that would allow people in the Donetsk region to express their will.”

They also called for giving Russian the status of regional language and for granting broader rights to local self-government bodies.

“If these legitimate demands are ignored by the central authorities again, the Donetsk Regional Council will reserve the right to take appropriate action to protect the rights and freedoms of people in the region,” the statement said.

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