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Poroshenko ready for one single concession on Donbas — media

August 21, 2015, 21:42 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukrainian President is said to be ready to amend Ukraine’s Constitution in part of power decentralization, a source at Poroshenko’s administration said
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© Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian president's press service/TASS

KIEV, August 21 /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is ready to make only one concession on Donbas - to amend Ukraine’s Constitution in part of power decentralization. He may officially announce his stance at negotiations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on August 24, a source at Poroshenko’s administration told Ukraine’s Internet publication Apostrophe on Friday.

"Ukraine will never agree to limit its legal sovereignty. There has never been and there will not be any direct norm in the Constitution. A reference to the law on special principles of self-government in some districts of Donbas is a useless piece of paper because it can be changed any time," the source explained.

The constitutional reform in Ukraine is one of the basic requirements of the package of measures (Minsk-2) designed to implement the September 19 Minsk agreements. The Minsk-2 agreements were signed in the Belarusian capital on February 12. In accordance with this document, Ukraine is to adopt a new Constitution by the end of 2015. A provision on power decentralization /with account taken of the peculiarities of some districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions/ as well as a permanent law on the special status of those regions agreed with their representatives are supposed to be the key elements of Ukraine’s new fundamental law.

On July 31, Ukraine’s Constitutional Court ruled that the draft law on amendments to Ukraine’s Constitution was in line with the country’s main law. However, representatives of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR) said that the draft law was violating the Minsk agreements. They demanded that the government in Kiev amend the text of the Constitution (rather than its interim provisions) and put in force the previously postponed law on the Donbas special status. The amendment is also supposed to contain a detailed description of what the special status really is and fix it on the permanent basis, the republic’s representatives said.

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) will convene for an extraordinary session to discuss power decentralization, the key issue for Ukraine, parliamentary speaker Vladimir Groisman told Ukrainian television on August 20.

"The deputies and I decided that it would happen on August 31," Groisman said in an interview with Ukraine Channel 5.

"Judicially, it’s going to be the plenary session’s last day. We need to discuss this issue and hold the final vote on the constitutional amendments at the next session after consultations with people’s deputies," Groisman explained adding that the next session would start on September 1.

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