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Kiev to Donbass: First control over border, then amendments to constitution

Ukraine must first regain control over the state border and only after that elections in Donbass and constitution amendments on decentralization can be discussed, Kiev’s representative in the trilateral contact group on Donbass conflict settlement Leonid Kuchma says.

“Without ceasefire and full pullout of weapons confirmed by OSCE monitors, without regaining control over the Ukrainian-Russian state border, in no way can we discuss elections or constitutional amendment or even more settlement of humanitarian, economic problems and de-mining issues,” Kuchma says. According to him, without these “fundamental” conditions it is impossible to go through the legislation amendments at the Supreme Rada.

However, Kuchma’s statements contradict the Minsk agreements, Point 9 of which says that “Restore full control over the state border by Ukrainian government in the whole conflict zone, which has to start on the first day after the local election and end after the full political regulation (local elections in particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts based on the law of Ukraine and Constitutional reform) by the end of 2015, on the condition of fulfilment of Point 11 – in consultations and in agreement with representatives of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.” Point 11 runs: “Constitutional reform in Ukraine, with the new Constitution to come into effect by the end of 2015, the key element of which is decentralization (taking into account peculiarities of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, agreed with representatives of these districts), and also approval of permanent legislation on special status of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts in accordance with the measures spelt out in the footnotes, by the end of 2015.”

As EADaily reported earlier, Ukrainian forces do not observe the full silence regime on which the parties agreed on Jan 13. They are firing at Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics on a daily basis. Kiev failed to observe the agreement to pull out heavy weapons, and is pulling military hardware and troops to the line of demarcation.

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