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KIEV, July 16. /TASS/. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, on Thursday sent to the Constitutional Court draft amendments to the country’s Constitution concerning decentralization.
A total of 288 lawmakers, 62 more than the minimum required voted in favor of the decision.
The Constitution is added by a provision that "the peculiarities of local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are defined by a separate law."
Ukrainian MP Leonid Emets said the inclusion of such a provision to the Constitution automatically means that "the parliament will have to adopt this law in any case."
"This means that until the regulation disappears from the Constitution, the law on the special status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions will be a responsibility of the Rada," he said.
This regulation has been submitted to show the implementation of the February 12 Minsk peace agreements on Ukraine, the MP said.
An explanatory note to the document says that the proposed amendments are in line with the Constitution’s article on the unitary system of government. "Decentralization does not mean weakening the central authority in the issues of defence, foreign policy, national security, the rule of law and the observance of the rights and freedoms of citizens," it says.
Poroshenko stressed that there is not a single hint of federalisation in the draft amendments. "Ukraine was, is and will remain a unitary state," the president said.
Earlier on Thursday, an MP from the Poroshenko Bloc faction, Sergey Leschenko, said if the high court approves the draft to the Constitution, 226 and 300 lawmakers should vote for it at two sessions in a row. He said the first reading is likely to take place in August and the second one in autumn.