STRASBOURG (Sputnik) — Constitutional reform aimed at decentralizing power in Ukraine was among the key provisions of the February Minsk peace agreements. Kiev has sent a draft project of the amendments to be examined by the the Venice Commission, an advisory body of the Council of Europe on constitutional matters.
The commission's verdict obtained by RIA Novosti on Wednesday noted that the proposed amendments to Ukraine's constitution imply carrying out the decentralization process in a way that complies with the the European Charter of Local Self-government.
The Commission said it was necessary to add a provision on the creation of certain administrative territorial units through the development of a special law, adding that similar schemes are needed to create separate territorial administrative units in Ukraine.
A special status is something that independence fighters in Ukraine's southeast have been seeking amid armed confrontation with the Kiev forces. In February, the self-proclaimed people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) signed a peace agreement with Kiev, which stipulates a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine's southeast and a decentralization of power.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that he expects the country’s parliament to pass a bill on constitutional changes to decentralize power in Ukraine by July 17.