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Russia says constitutional reform in Ukraine being carried out in breach of Minsk deal

May 19, 2015, 14:49 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Representatives from Donetsk and Luhansk are not involved in the process
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Oksana Toskic/TASS

BRUSSELS, May 19. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that constitutional reform in Ukraine was being carried out in violation of previously reached agreements as it did not involve representatives of the country’s eastern self-proclaimed republics.

"A very important area the Council of Europe now starts working in in connection with the Ukrainian crisis is facilitating constitutional reform," Lavrov told journalists.

"Now it is not being carried out in accordance with the Minsk agreements envisaging participation of representatives from Donetsk and Luhansk," he said.

"We have called on the secretary general and all members of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to ensure that in work on constitutional reform as well as work on judicial reform and implementation of other reforms, agreements reached in Minsk are fully observed," Lavrov added.

Kiev dodges direct dialogue with east Ukraine, replaces it with new ideas

Lavrov said stressed that the authorities in Kiev seek to avoid direct dialogue with representatives of east Ukraine’s self-proclaimed republics while replacing it with ideas not envisaged in ceasefire agreements signed in Minsk.

"Unfortunately, the Kiev authorities are still dodging such a direct dialogue, trying to replace it with new ideas and formats that have not been discussed or envisaged in the Minsk agreements," Lavrov said.

Constitutional reform is a key part of peace agreements worked out by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in the Belarusian capital on February 12, calling for a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias starting from February 15.

The deal also sought pull-back of heavy weapons from the front line by at least 15 kilometers (9 miles), prisoner release and agreement for international observers to monitor the truce.

Based on September’s stillborn Minsk peace protocol, the deal also laid out a road map for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and reforms to give the war-torn eastern regions more autonomy.

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