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Party of Regions says memorandum on settlement in Ukraine’s east is set of empty promises

April 24, 2014, 22:48 UTC+3 KIEV
“This draft has no mention of either the issue of federalization or the status of the Russian language,” secretary of the presidium Boris Kolesnikov said
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KIEV, April 24 /ITAR-TASS/. A draft memorandum of the settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s eastern regions proposed by the pro-authorities majority in the national parliament is nothing more but a set of empty, non-committal promises, Boris Kolesnikov, secretary of the presidium of the Party of Regions, told journalists on Thursday.

“This draft has no mention of either the issue of federalization or the status of the Russian language,” he said, adding that nothing concrete was said there either about such issues as delegating authority from the central government to regions and inter-budgetary relations.

The memorandum of the settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s eastern regions, as well as a bill on amnestying protesters in those regions will be put on the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) as soon as consensus is reached between the opposition represented by the Party of Regions and Communist Party factions and the coalition of Batkivshchina (Fatherland), UDAR and Svoboda (Freedom) factions, and two lawmaker groups.

The draft proposed by parliament speaker Alexander Turchinov has a number of provisions that are categorically rejected by the Party of Regions and Communist factions. Thus, this draft provides for no federalization, no steps to expand the competences of Ukrainian regions, to grant other languages the official status in certain regions, and no changes to the constitution.

The Party of Regions faction has drafted its own edition of the memorandum. The Party of Regions faction, backed by the Communist faction, speaks in favour of granting the Russian language the status of a second state language and fixing it in the constitution. They also urge to pass laws on a reform of the system of local self-government that would abolish regional and district state administration and form executive committee of regional and district councils as local executive authorities.

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