Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada speaker opposes referendum on Donbas status
The status of Donbas within Ukraine should not be decided by a referendum, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Groysman said.
"I consider it as an idea: I heard it yesterday from the Prime Minister on television. I believe that such a mechanism as a referendum can always be used but all that concerns, in particular, the question of specific aspects of Donbas, the status of Donbas, shouldn't be decided by a referendum. Because I think that there might be no single region or a part of a region given any special status in a unitary country," Groysman told a briefing in Kyiv on Monday in response to a question from Interfax-Ukraine.
A sociological survey may be conducted to learn how people actually regard this matter, he said.
"Ukraine is a unitary state. No special statuses are set forth in the Constitution; and again, it is necessary to read the laws and ask the question 'What for?'" Groysman added.
However, he expressed the view that if any amendments were made to the Ukrainian constitution, such as stating that a special status is granted to Donbas, then it would be more like federalization. "Since there is no such provision there, we shouldn't be asking about it, as it will be a sort of manipulation," Groysman said.