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Poroshenko rules out special status for Donbas

July 29, 2015, 19:38 UTC+3 KIEV
"Ukraine has been and will remain a unitary state," the president said
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© EPA/TASS/ROMAN PILIPEY

KIEV, July 29. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has ruled out the possibility of Ukraine’s troubled Donbas getting a special status.

The draft constitution "does not envisage a special status for Donbas," he said during a working trip to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. "There will be no federalization," he went on. "Ukraine has been and will remain a unitary state," the president said.

Constitutional reform is one of the basic demands in the Minsk Package of Measures for the settlement in Ukraine, approved by the Normandy Four leaders and signed by the parties in the conflict in Minsk on February 12.

In line with the document, Ukraine must before the end of 2015 adopt a new constitution envisaging as a key element decentralization (with due regard for specific features of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, coordinated with representatives of these regions). The second important requirement is that the special status of separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions should be fixed permanently in Ukraine’s new constitution.

On Monday, July 27, draft amendments went to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

However, Donbas representatives said that the submitted to the Constitutional Court amendments drafted by the administration of Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko were at variance with the Minsk principles.

Kiev should include the guarantees of a special status in the main text of the Constitution, not in any transitional provisions, they say. "The political privileges of the Donbas region must be enshrined in the Constitution. This concerns, above all, the relations with Kiev on the basis of mutually-advantageous treaties and agreements. We will never agree to something less," head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnitsky said.

Normandy Four leaders have repeatedly emphasized a need to comply with all points in the political section of the Package of Measures. "In particular, it is important to reach progress as to the scheduled for autumn local elections, as well as the status of the separatists-controlled regions," Christiane Wirtz, deputy spokesperson of the German government, said after their telephone conversation last week.

"The Russian president called on the Ukrainian side to follow the letter and spirit of the Minsk Complex of Measures, in particular, to agree with the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and to adopt permanent legislation on the special status of corresponding areas and an amnesty law, as well as to determine modalities and procedures for conducting local elections," the Kremlin press service said then.

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