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Ukraine’s former PM says Donbas should get broad autonomy

August 03, 2015, 15:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The former prime minister stressed that "Donbas’ economy remains part of Ukrainian economy so neither Ukraine nor Donbas will win from severing ties"
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© TASS/Zurab Dzhavakhadze

MOSCOW, August 3. /TASS/. Donbas should get the broadest possible economic and political autonomy as part of Ukraine, former prime minister Mykola Azarov told LifeNews TV channel on Monday.

"Considering those big grievances that the Kiev regime brought to south-east, to Donbas, considering the scale of damage and death of many people, very complicated and serious negotiations are ahead… I am a supporter of granting the largest possible autonomy, including financial and economic autonomy, to these regions. I think that it is possible to reach agreement only on such basis," Azarov said.

However, Donbas’ economy remains part of Ukrainian economy so neither Ukraine nor Donbas will win from severing ties, the former prime minister added.

Azarov earlier on Monday told a news conference in Moscow the Committee for the Salvation of Ukraine has decided to nominate for president former Verkhovna Rada deputy Vladimir Oleinik. "We have decided to nominate Vladimir Oleinik for president. We should demand snap presidential, parliamentary and regional elections. The country badly needs renovation," Azarov said, adding that the decision to nominate Oleinik was made unanimously.

Oleinik said for his part that "the crisis in Ukraine is political, economic and social." "The only solution is to hold snap presidential and parliamentary elections."

Vladimir Oleinik is a Ukrainian politician, famous lawyer, and member of the 5th, 6th and 7th Verkhovna Rada. He was born in Ukraine’s Cherkassy Region in 1957.

In 2006, he was elected to the parliament from Yulia Timoshenko’s Bloc. Since March 2010, he had been member of the Party of Regions and served as deputy chairman of Rada’s committee on industrial and regulatory policy and entrepreneurship.

In December 2014, Ukraine’s General Prosecutor’s Office charged Oleinik was organising illegal voting in the parliament for "16 January laws" - a package of measures toughening penalties for various offenses. He was put on Ukraine’s wanted list.

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