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Poroshenko to suspend Ukrainian constitutional changes if Minsk agreements are disrupted

September 09, 2015, 15:49 UTC+3
The Ukrainian president admitted, however, that the Minsk agreements are working at the moment
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Petro Poroshenko (second right) on a visit to a military unit, Aug. 22

Petro Poroshenko (second right) on a visit to a military unit, Aug. 22

© Nikolay Lazarenko/Ukrainian president's press service/TASS

KIEV, September 9. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said on Wednesday that the process of amending the Constitution of Ukraine will be suspended if the Minsk agreements on the Ukrainian crisis settlement are disrupted.

"If it comes to the point that a state of emergency or martial law is introduced, I will not hesitate to issue a decree and submit it to the Rada to stop the adoption of any changes to the Constitution," he said.

He admitted, however, that the Minsk agreements are working at the moment.

"From 00:00 hours on August 29, for the first time over the past 1.5 years there is calm up the line," he said at a meeting of the Council for Regional Development. Yesterday, the day before yesterday and today not a single shot was made, although there have been skirmishes outside the contact zone."

"The Minsk agreements are working, and everybody who needs verification can look at the shelling statistics to see this for themselves," the president said.

He nevertheless said that it was necessary to "strengthen the army and be ready for the disruption of the Minsk agreements any moment." In this case Kiev will return to the issue of the constitution change, Poroshenko said.

He added that he would "fight for every inch of Ukrainian land" and for "returning Crimea and Donbas."

A peace deal struck on February 12 in Minsk, Belarus, by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15, followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement and prisoner release. The package of measures, known as Minsk-2, envisages pullback of all heavy weapons by both parties to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometers wide for artillery systems with a calibre of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometers wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometers wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and for Tochka-U tactical rocket systems.

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