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Donetsk, Lugansk invite Kiev to another meeting of Contact Group

February 14, 2015, 13:35 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. Authorities of eh self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) invite Kiev to another meeting of the Contract Group on settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s east, DPR’s representative at talks in Minsk Denis Pushilin said on Saturday.

"The meeting may be organised in Minsk, Astana (Kazakhstan) or Novoazovsk (a border town on the south-eastern tip of Ukraine)," the Donetsk news agency quoted him.

On Friday, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone discussed results of the Normandy Four’s summit in Minsk and mentioned another meeting may be organised in Astana.

The DPR and LPR have initiated several addendums to the Ukrainian constitution.

"Since the reform [of Ukraine’s Constitution - TASS] is due in 2015 already, DPR and LPR suggest now, meaning at the next meeting of the Contact Group, beginning a detailed discussion about necessary addendums to the Ukrainian constitution," the agency reported him as saying.

The official presented a list of addendums, where the first item is "allocation to separate regions, districts of a right to form up independently structures of regional and local authorities."

The republics want Kiev to consider decentralisation of the budget, finance and tax systems "even organisation in certain territories of free economic zones and other special economic regimes."

The constitution should have notions of "a special order of local self-governance," "special status," "separate regions" and "certain regions." Besides, LPR and DPR insist on a special right "to unite into free association with common management structures."

The republics also hope Ukraine’s constitution will offer an official status of the Russian language and other languages of national minorities in certain regions and "an option for agreements on dividing authorities between the central government, ministries and authorities, and separate regions and their associations."

The republics’ authorities say about a necessary regulation, under which it would be impossible to dismiss local deputies and officials elected at early elections, which will be appointed by Ukraine’s parliament (Verkhovna Rada).

The set of agreed measures, signed by the Contact Group on February 12, envisages Ukraine’s constitutional reform with the country’s new constitution talking effect by late 2015. The key element of the new constitution will be power decentralisation and adoption of permanent legislation on a special status for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s south-east.

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