New Ukrainian constitution may be passed in September – Poroshenko

The Voice of Russia | 22 June 2014

Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko said that the Ukrainian parliament could pass amendments to the constitution in September 2014, the presidential press service reported. "The amendments proposed could be passed in their first reading within a few weeks and finally approved as early as September," Poroshenko said in an address to the Ukrainian people, posted on the presidential website on Saturday evening.

Poroshenko reaffirmed his earlier statements that Ukraine is in need of decentralization of authority and that he would delegate part of his powers to the territorial and local governments.

"Local legislative elections will be held on the basis of the new constitution. The local councils will form governments and elect their chairmen," the Ukrainian president said.

Decentralization of authority means that the regions’ rights will be expanded in various areas, including in the language policy.

"Local councils in Donbass will have the ample right to freely use the Russian language alongside the national language," Poroshenko said.

Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko is urging people in the eastern regions to support his peace plan and settle issues through talks, the presidential press service reports.

"The immediate and fast implementation of the peace plan will pave the way to political dialogue. I am inviting to this dialogue lawfully elected representatives of local self-governments, civil organizations and all others," Poroshenko stressed in his message to the nation posted on the presidential website Saturday evening.

"I guarantee security to all participants in the talks. To everyone who wishes to use the language of arguments instead of the language of arms," Poroshenko stressed.

He noted that the question of the territorial integrity of Ukraine is beyond discussion.

"We heed and take into account the specific views and individual opinions of the residents of Donbass. But we cannot and will not remodel the whole of Ukraine in compliance with them, Ukraine which is quite unanimous on matters of unity, territorial arrangement, language and geopolitical orientation," the president stressed.

Poroshenko indicated that the peace plan cannot be implemented without support from the residents of Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

He added that the peace plan is the priority but the Ukrainian authorities are considering different scenarios.

"We foresee various scenarios. The peace scenario is the main one, it is our plan A. But those who count on using the peace talks only to drag out time and regroup forces should know that we also have a detailed plan B," Poroshenko said, Interfax reports.

Previously Poroshenko announced his plan of settling the situation in Eastern Ukraine consisting of 15 planks.

Ukraine’s President Petr Poroshenko has proposed placing OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) observers at roadblocks in Ukraine, in a phone conversation with the body’s chairman, Didier Burkhalter, Saturday.

"The head-of-state emphasized the need for establishing an effective means of monitoring and controlling the ceasefire’s implementation. Petr Poroshenko has proposed ensuring that inspectors from the special OSCE monitoring mission are present at more than 100 roadblocks," said a statement published on the president’s official website.

On Friday, The Ukrainian President issued a decree announcing a unilateral ceasefire in the violent standoff between government and self-defense forces in the country’s east until June 27.

He also unveiled a peace plan for the resolution of the crisis in the country. The 15-step plan promises amnesty to all anti-Kiev fighters in eastern Ukraine who agree to lay down their arms and leave administrative buildings, but only for those who "did not commit serious crimes".

The OSCE has had observers deployed in southeastern Ukraine for several months but earlier in June announced that, for security reasons, it would temporarily reduce the number of monitors .

On May 26, the four members of an international OSCE monitoring team were seized by independence supporters in the Donetsk region, another four European observers and a local translator went missing in the neighboring Lugansk region on May 29.

Since mid-April, Kiev authorities have been conducting a special military operation in eastern Ukraine to suppress the independence movement.

The violence intensified after the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics declared independence in May.

Moscow has described the ongoing military operation as "punitive" and called for an immediate end to the bloodshed.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said on Thursday the OSCE mission to Ukraine lacked impartiality in its reports on the crisis-hit country.



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