10:23 GMT17 January 2021
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    Council of Europe can assist Ukraine in designing a constitution which guarantees the territorial integrity and at the same time gives way to a process of decentralization opening the way to a political resolution of the conflict in the country's east.

    STRASBOURG, January 29 (Sputnik) — Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland on Thursday pledged to help Kiev decentralize power as it drafts a new constitution for the country.

    "We can assist Ukraine in designing a constitution which guarantees the territorial integrity and which at the same time gives way to a process of decentralization opening the way to a political resolution of the conflict. Our Venice Commission, the most respected in the world on constitutional matters can help here," Thorbjorn Jagland said addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

    He added that he had his own special representative in the Ukraine parliament to provide advice to the lawmakers on a daily basis.

    At the same time, Jagland noted that conflicts must be settled peacefully and urged all parties to stop the violence in eastern Ukraine and to implement the Minsk agreements.

    "The violence in eastern Ukraine must therefore be stopped, the ceasefire be upheld, the Minsk protocol must be implemented in full, and we will continue to help Ukraine to build a sovereign and democratic state. In the long term this will be key to Ukraine's freedom and independence," Jagland said.

    The secretary general's remarks followed a push at the winter session on Monday by PACE President Anne Brasseur for Ukraine to conduct constitutional and judicial reform, as well as to decentralize power and fight against corruption.

    Kiev has initiated a number of economic and judicial reforms in order to draw its governance closer to European standards, after pro-EU authorities came to power in a February 2014 coup. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has promised Kiev $17 billion in aid, and a number of individual countries have also allocated funds to speed reforms.


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