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MINSK, July 28. /TASS/. Local elections and the implementation of the decentralization reform "in separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions" will be high on the agenda during a meeting of the political subgroup of the Contact Group on Ukraine on Tuesday.
These issues have been on the agenda for a few weeks now. The "Normandy Four" is expecting the progress in the settlement process from the subgroup. However, despite the fact that the political subgroup’s meetings are held weekly, the progress in the implementation of this part of the agreements is very slow.
Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ivica Dacic admitted that no tangible progress had been made on the political issues during the previous stage of discussions on July 21. "We have not made any substantial progress in this direction," he said, proposing to adhere to the "small-step" tactics.
Representatives of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR, LPR) believe the reason for the lack of progress at the talks is the stance of Kiev, which is unwilling to honor the Minsk agreements. According to LPR envoy to the Contact Group Vladislav Deynego, "the reason is that Ukraine behaves in an unconstructive fashion."
Contrary to the Minsk agreements provisions, the draft constitutional amendments endorsed by President Petro Poroshneko and Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada and sent to the Constitutional Court on Monday was not coordinated with representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk. Nor was it considered "by the working group on political issues or the Contact Group," Deynego noted. The Donetsk and Luhansk republics insist that Kiev move the amendment, which will bring into action the law on the special status for Donbas laid aside earlier, to the text of the Constitution rather than to its transitional provisions.