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    Kiev’s Self-Rule Plan for Donbass Violates Minsk Agreements

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    Ukraine's Constitutional Court has approved constitutional changes that give more power and functions to regional and local governments and grant limited powers of self-governance to parts of the country’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

    President Poroshenko submitted the bill to parliament on July 15 under pressure from Western leaders to grant those areas some self-rule power as promised in February's cease-fire deal that was agreed in Minsk.

    However, the proposed constitutional amendments are starkly at variance with the spirit of the Minsk accords as they do not provide for any special status for Donbass.

    The Verhovna Rada must now pass the measures before the President signs them into law.

    The bill needs to receive the votes of 226 MPs in the first reading, and the votes of at least 300 MPs at the next session, leading to the adoption of the constitutional amendments.

    According to the draft amendments, "a special law will regulate peculiarities of local self-government” in the districts which are being held by independence supporters in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

    However, the President can now suspend the work of these self-government bodies whenever he feels necessary. Moreover, Petro Poroshenko has made it clear that no special status will be granted to these areas.

    The independence supporters in Donbass, meanwhile, insist that a special status of the districts they control must be mentioned in the constitution.


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    self-rule, violation, Minsk agreements, constitutional amendments, Verhovna Rada, Ukrainian Constitutional Court, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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