RIA Novosti: Ukraine draft law a potential “interim” step to constitutional reform – Pushylin

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, August 31, 2015)

Denis Pushilin [Ukrainian: Denys Pushylin], plenipotentiary representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR/DNR], considers the first reading of draft constitutional amendments passed by the Supreme Council to be Ukraine’s internal affair which has little to do with the Minsk Agreement but which could be an interim step towards constitutional reform harmonized with the Donbas region.

“There is a clear road map to be followed without revising its individual clauses. There is an absolutely clear statement that constitutional reform should be carried out in agreement with the Donetsk and Luhansk republics,” he told RIA Novosti.

Pushilin recalled that the DPR’s and LPR’s [“Luhansk People’s Republic”] representatives had repeatedly forwarded their version of constitutional amendments, which they were ready to agree to, to Kiev and the OSCE. “But given that this has not been done, what happened in the Supreme Council is their internal affair, which has little to do with the package of measures [agreed previously],” Pushilin added.

At the same time, Pushilin said that the draft passed by the Supreme Council could be an “intermediate step for Ukraine”. “The next step should be to accept what we’ve offered, what we are ready to agree to,” he said.

If, however, Kiev decides to leave the draft passed in its first reading “as it is, then this is a road to nowhere”, the DPR envoy stressed. In his words, it is “very sad” that Ukraine is backed in this by the US which “in this way is only exacerbating the conflict rather than solving it”. The results of the vote will be considered at a meeting of a subgroup of the contact group on the settlement in Ukraine in Minsk on Tuesday [1 September], Pushilin also noted.