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Ukraine needs constitutional reform — Council of Europe chief

March 16, 2015, 16:58 UTC+3 OSLO

Agreements reached in Minsk last month now provide the only real opportunity for resolving the conflict, Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjørn Jagland believes

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© AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

OSLO, March 16. /TASS/. Ukraine should carry out constitutional reform to reunite the country, Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjørn Jagland writes in an article published on Monday by Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

"It seems that the first points of the Minsk agreement — on ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons — are being complied with. Nevertheless, if the remaining provisions are not implemented, armed stand-off can begin again, probably on a bigger scale, which can lead to tragic consequences,"writes Norway's former prime minister.

"The forthcoming process will be very difficult and involve substantial decentralization of power in the Donbas region and elections in the country’s east," he says.

"All reforms should have a strong constitutional basis. Constitutional reform has to be carried out, so there must be concord within the country on what kind of state Ukraine wants to become in the future."

Agreements reached in the Belarusian capital Minsk last month now provide the only real opportunity for resolving the conflict, Jagland says. "This is a chance to unite and consolidate the country. This is a chance to lay the foundation for reforms ensuring de facto division of powers, the existence of independent courts of parliament and a free press.

"This is the only way to defeat corruption and restore trust in each other both domestically and abroad."

Jagland repeatedly points out that Europe, Russia and the United States should restore at least a minimum level of mutual trust, lost in recent years.

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