Poroshenko rules out decentralization amendments to Ukrainian constitution until appropriate conditions emerge
The Ukrainian constitution will not be modified regarding decentralization and a special self-government regime for individual districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions until provisions of the Minsk agreements prescribing de-escalation of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine are fulfilled, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.
"As you can see, a second reading of constitutional amendments, a phantom of which has been constantly wandering around this hall, has not happened. This will not happen until appropriate conditions emerge. Any decision lies solely with you, esteemed deputies. Constitutional amendments, the law on local elections in part of Donbas or any other strategic steps will not happen without you," Poroshenko said in his annual address to the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday.
Ukraine managed to convince Western allies during dialogue that any steps towards political settlement in the region should be preceded by obvious and indisputable progress in security issues.
"A lasting truce, withdrawal of Russian troops and weapons from the occupied territory, disarmament of militants and, in the end, our control over our own border," he said.
"Russia wants to create a 'Donbas protectorate' on lands uncontrolled by Kyiv and to insert it into Ukraine on its own terms for the purposes of undermining Ukraine from the inside," the Ukrainian president said.
"Let me be brief: this will not happen," Poroshenko said.