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Russian official says Ukraine's eastern regions may opt for Crimean pathway

May 14, 2015, 15:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A member of Russian parliament's upper house said Kiev will have to treat Donbas as a special region and take account of the losses it has suffered during the military operation if it wants to keep it
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chairman of the foreign policy committee in the upper house of Russian parliament Konstantin Kosachev

chairman of the foreign policy committee in the upper house of Russian parliament Konstantin Kosachev

© Sergey Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. Ukraine's eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions may opt for the pathway already trodden by Crimea, Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the foreign policy committee in the upper house of Russian parliament wrote on his blog on Thursday.

He recalled a recent remark that the leader of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Yuri Lutsenko, made in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, saying Donbas was not entitled to getting any special autonomous status.

Lutsenko drew a comparison between Donbas and Crimea. "In 1991, the contrived special status (of the former Crimean region of what used to be the Ukrainian Soviet Social Republic - TASS), which transformed the regional council into the Crimean Supreme Rada, brought up separatism and put a part of the country into an opposition to all other parts," he said.

"In reality, everything happened the other way round," Kosachev said. "It was the underestimation of Crimea’s specificity by the Kiev authorities and the persistent diminishing of its status over a period of more than twenty years that generated all the subsequent problems."

"Exactly the same thing will happen or won’t happen in the southeast of Ukraine depending on what scenario of actions the Kiev government opts for," Kosachev said.

He believes that decentralization tailored along the ‘one size fits everyone’ formula, which Kiev is seeking to impose on Donbas won’t be accepted by its residents.

"If Ukraine wants to keep Donbas within its sovereign borders, the government will have to treat it as a special region and to take account of the losses it suffered during the so-called Antiterrorist Operation, which actually turned out to be a war against fellow-countrymen," Kosachev said.

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