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Donetsk leader says Kiev’s calls for constitutional referendum may disrupt Minsk accords

January 26, 10:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the militia leader, Donbas voiced its opinion at the referendum on May 11, 2014
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Leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko

Leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko

© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The proposal of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to hold a referendum on a constitutional reform threatens to undermine the Minsk process of peaceful settlement, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, said on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Yatsenyuk called for putting the issue on the constitutional amendments to the national referendum. Yatsenyuk also expressed confidence that the Ukrainian president shared this view.

"Yatsenyuk’s initiative is aimed at disrupting the Minsk agreements," Zakharchenko said in a statement quoted by the Donetsk news agency on Tuesday.

The Donetsk republic’s leader stressed that Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, who signed the Minsk peace accords, has already failed to meet the commitments under the deal.

Struggling to stay in power, Yatsenyuk has proposed to hold the referendum while its outcome is already known, Zakharchenko said. The majority of those federalization supporters who could vote at the referendum will not attend it, he added.

"It is Crimea that chose to rejoin Russia. It is also Donbas that already voiced its opinion at the referendum on May 11, 2014 and defended it with arms in hands. So, millions of former federalization supporters will not take part in the referendum mentioned by Yatsenyuk," he stressed.

As the anti-Russian propaganda and political violence persist in Ukraine, "the results of the referendum proposed by Yatsenyuk are already known." "This will finally bury the Minsk process as the political settlement will face an invincible obstacle - the referendum."

"We will not be taken in by this trick," Zakharchenko stressed.

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