MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych calls for a referendum on the status of the southeast Ukrainian region known as Donbass if Kiev does not comply with a set of ceasefire agreements.
"In the event of current Ukrainian authorities failing to observe the Minsk agreements, it is needed to initiate a referendum on the status of Donbass," Yanukovych wrote in a letter to world leaders obtained by Sputnik.
He offered to include the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics in the reconciliation format comprising Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine.
Yanukovych also calls on world leaders to "initiate the creation of a special commission of the Council of Europe to monitor the investigation of crimes committed on the Maidan."
The letter was addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Polish President Andrzej Duda, as well as the heads of European bodies.
In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.