23:30 GMT +315 November 2019
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande (L) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speak to media after their meeting in the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, August 24, 2015

    Kiev Defies Minsk Accords, Resists Western Demands for Donbass Self-Rule

    © REUTERS / Axel Schmidt
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    France and Germany are pressing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to ensure partial self-rule for the country’s independence-minded east before the upcoming local election there, Ukrainian media reported on Saturday.

    Poroshenko refuses to comply, citing legal, political and organizational hurdles preventing the implementation of the law, which would grant broader autonomy to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, the Kiev-based Weekly Mirror newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources in the government.

    In keeping with the provisions of the Minsk accords, reached in February 2015, President Poroshenko agreed to grant a special status to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

    Article 4 of the 13-point Minsk Protocol outlined the modalities of conducting local elections in particular districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions and their future status.

    Article 11 described decentralization of particular districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions and their special status as the key elements of the proposed constitutional reform in Ukraine.

    On August 24, President Poroshenko met in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

    Briefing the media after the talks, Angela Merkel said that  the three leaders had gathered in Berlin to endorse the Misk-2 accords, which she described as pivotal to a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian conflict.

    Addressing members of his Solidarity bloc shortly before the August 24 trip to Berlin, Petro Poroshenko said that the proposed constitutional reforms ruled out any federalization or other special statuses for any part of Ukraine.

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    France, Donbass autonomy, pressure, talks, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Petro Poroshenko, Germany, Ukraine
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