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Special status for some areas of Donbas to be fixed in Ukraine's Constitution — media

July 16, 2015, 9:43 UTC+3
Petro Poroshenko has changed amendments to the Constitution to have a special status for parts of Donbas not controlled by Kiev fixed in its main text
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland

© Mikhail Palinchak/TASS

KIEV, July 16./TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has changed amendments to the Constitution to have a special status for parts of Donbas not controlled by Kiev fixed in its main text, the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper reports on Thursday referring to its sources.

"According to the interlocutor, the Ukrainian president resubmitted to Verkhovna Rada (parliament) draft amendments to the Constitution, in which one provision was worked over: the article on fixing the status of the occupied regions was moved from transitional provisions of the Law on the Introduction of Amendments to the Constitution to transitional provisions of the Constitution, namely to the body of the Constitution of Ukraine," the newspaper said.

It said these changes took place during a visit to Ukraine of United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.

The sources said that the introduction of amendments to that provision in the future required a full procedure of introducing amendments to the Constitution, for which two sessions of the parliament and 300 votes for the final version would be needed.

Earlier, the transitional provisions of the Constitution said specific features of local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions were regulated by a law passed by Verkhovna Rada on June 26.

According to the newspaper, the relevant committee has already supported the changes offered by the president. Vice Speaker Oksana Syroyed, for her part, said on her Facebook page that "terrible pressure is put on people’s deputies these hours and right now by the world community to see that the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics get a special status in our Constitution".

They reason this is needed is"to demonstrate the implementation of the Minsk agreements," she said.

The Constitutional Council will on Thursday look into amendments to the Constitution.

A 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements, adopted in February, in particular included an agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including enforcement of a special self-rule status for certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

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