Politics 2021-10-15T05:06:28+03:00
Ukrainian news
Kravchuk Rules Out Amendment Of Constitution To Grant Donbas Special Status

Kravchuk Rules Out Amendment Of Constitution To Grant Donbas Special Status

Donbas, TCG, Leonid Kravchuk, special status of Donbas

The newly appointed head of the Ukrainian delegation to the first meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on resolution of the conflict in Donbas (Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), Leonid Kravchuk, has ruled out a constitutional amendment granting a "special status" to Donbas.

Kravchuk was speaking in an interview with the Segodnya newspaper, the Ukrainian News Agency reports.

"We have a Constitution; we have laws that are consistent with international law. If Russia really believes that we [should] make changes to the Constitution, then I ask the following question through you: how can a democratic country – and we are definitely on the democratic path – come to the parliament and say that you have to vote for this?" he said.

According to him, the European Solidarity, Holos, and Batkivschyna parliamentary factions, as well as some members of the Servant of the People parliamentary faction, will not vote for such a constitutional amendment.

“I am not even talking about the fact that this is not in line with any international documents. The Constitution is Ukraine’s basic domestic document. It is practically impossible. They know that such decisions are made by the parliament. The parliament is a democratic entity, a democratic body within the Ukrainian state, and all the 450 parliamentarians have the right to their position and opinion and the right to vote the way their internal state dictates and in accordance with the wishes of their voters," Kravchuk said.

According to him, the parliament is "not even close" to having sufficient number of votes to amend the Constitution.

“You are demanding something that Ukraine cannot do. Our parliament is not made up of soldiers to whom you can say ‘forward” and they will all go forward. If they don’t hear us, then they don’t want to hear us,” Kravchuk said.

According to him, the Minsk Agreement’s provision that requires amendment of the Ukrainian Constitution to grant special status to the non-government-controlled territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions does not serve Ukraine’s strategic interests.

Kravchuk also believes that extension of the law on the characteristics of local self-government in Donbas, which will expire in December, will be sufficient for Russia.

“I think that Russia is also tired of the war... I am convinced that they will no longer cling to the issues that you are talking about. If we suddenly feel … that they do not want any concessions and if we show that we are ready and they say ‘No’... Well, then, at least I will have the courage, strength, and will to say: ‘We did everything we could within the Ukrainian legislative framework, the Constitution, and international law but they did not hear us, therefore I see that the ‘Minsk process’ has no prospects and we are starting to look for other possibilities," he said.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, Kravchuk is not ruling out the possibility of legislatively permitting wider use of the Russian language in Donbas, although he does not believe that this issue will resolve the conflict.

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