Poroshenko: Ukraine will not amend constitution until ceasefire is fully implemented

Ukraine does not approve of the Draft Constitutional amendments regarding the decentralization of the Donbas region, including the regulations on granting special orders to the local government without the implementation of a number of points in the Minsk Agreements that provide for a cease fire and the de-escalation of the armed conflict in the region, as was stated by the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, in his annual address to the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament).

"The second reading of the Constitutional amendments, the ghost of which has constantly wandered this hall, did not happen, as you can see. And it is not going to happen until the conditions are ripe for it. Any solution, dear deputies, will be exclusively for you. Any amendments in either the Constitution or to the law on local elections in the Donbas region, or any other strategic movement will not happen without you," the head of the state said.

He noted that during the dialogue, the Ukrainian delegation managed to convince the Western allies that any steps for a political settlement of the situation in the region should be preceded by clear and convincing progress in matters of security, "a sustainable cease-fire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and equipment from the occupied territory, the disarmament of the separatists and in the end, control over our border."

He also noted that he will not allow the Russian Federation to establish a protectorate in the Donbas region.

The Draft Constitutional amendments regarding the decentralization of the Donbas region including regulations on the special order of the local government and the key points of the Minsk Agreements on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas, was adopted by the Parliament in the first reading in 2015. Amendments regarding decentralization include a three-tier system of local government. It is assumed that the system of administrative-territorial structure consists of regions, districts and communities. It was proposed to transfer the greatest powers and financial resources to the communities.

In the framework of this reform, a special status is expected to be provided to the separatist areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. On the 28th of June, 2016 Kyiv was to continue the consideration of the amendments to the Constitution regarding decentralization in these areas after the security issues were resolved in the Donbas region.

The armed confrontation between the Ukrainian Security Forces and the separatists of the self-proclaimed republics of the Donbas region has been ongoing since April, 2014.

  Ukraine, Donbas, Poroshenko