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First steps towards decentralization in Ukraine already made — Russian EU ambassador

Russia's Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov says Russia proceeds from the fact that Ukraine needs a profound constitutional reform

MOSCOW, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Participants in the Geneva negotiations on Ukraine have already made some steps to expand powers of regional authorities, Russia's Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said, adding that it mattered little whether the ultimate outcome would be called ‘federalization’ or ‘decentralization.’

“We proceed from the fact that Ukraine needs a profound constitutional reform,” he told Rossiya 24 TV channel on Friday. “Ukraine and its people deserve a better constitution than the one that is changed by each new president. The work that has been done in Kiev until recently is the wrong path. A reform can be successful only when it takes into account the opinion of all regions, all political parties of a country. It is absolutely natural. And such a reform should be carried out based on the referendum results.”

“I think there is no way a referendum can be avoided. The question is its format and essence. Eastern regions insist that it should be held at the regional level. This is a difficult task. So, let us wait and see which solution will be found by Ukrainians,” the Russian diplomat noted.

“As concerns federalization, the first step in this direction has already been made. After all, all the signatories to the Geneva documents agreed that decentralization was needed,” he stressed. “The main thing is not how to call this solution but how to implement it.”

“It is vital that such a decision be passed openly, transparently and was accepted in all regions of the country,” he added.