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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 450
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
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Russia's state-owned TASS news agency reports that representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DNR and LNR) have submitted proposals for amendments to the Ukrainian constitution to the tripartite Contact Group and Voloymyr Groysman, speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and head of the Ukrainian Constitutional Commission.

Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, representatives for the DNR and LNR respectively, released a joint statement today. The proposals "provide for the inclusion in the Constitution of Ukraine of an additional section, fixing the special legal status of the separate districts of Donbass."

TASS reports:

The proposed draft envisages, in particular, "the creation of people’s militia units controlled by the local authorities, the Russian language official status, a special economic regime and other rights." They also provide for the possibility of concluding a set of treaties and agreements between Ukraine’s central authorities and Donbass. It is also proposed to introduce amendments to the constitution’s articles on the judicial system, on the local self-government and administrative-territorial organisation of Ukraine.

In addition, the text of the draft provides for constitutional recognition of non-aligned status of Ukraine.

Pushilin said that the Russian-backed separatists from both self-proclaimed entities had repeatedly addressed both the Constitutional Commission and Groysman personally, but had not received any response. 

The Constitutional Commission is due to meet on May 13. Pushilin said that the DNR and LNR would introduce corresponding amendments to their own 'constitutions' if Ukraine introduced their proposed amendments.

TASS reports that Deinego said that (translated by The Interpreter):

"Synchronised and harmonised constitutional reform of Ukraine, the DNR and the LNR is the only possible modle for rebuilding a single political space and fulfilling the Minsk agreements."

Yesterday, the two representatives outlined proposals for the holding of local elections in the occupied territories that would bar any pro-Ukrainian parties from running.

The proposals contradict amendments to the Special Status law passed by the Rada on March 17 this year that said that local elections must be held in accordance with Ukrainian law before the self-governing status for the occupied territories could come into effect. 

Pushilin said that these amendments must be withdrawn for the peace process to continue.

-- Pierre Vaux