Kiev Failed to Discuss Constitutional Reform with East Regions – Lavrov
MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian government has so far made no practical moves to discuss amendments to the country's constitution with the breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
"For now, no immediate steps have been taken [by Kiev] since [the Geneva agreements were signed on] April 17 in order to initiate a dialogue on constitutional reform issues with the participation of all regions. Instead, it has been declared that the reform was approved on paper and is being submitted to Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian parliament]," Lavrov said.
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's unicameral parliament, said earlier in the day that on Thursday it received a package of draft amendments to the constitution proposed by President Petro Poroshenko. The new leader of Ukraine earlier made an announcement regarding his proposal at the PACE meeting in Strasbourg.
Poroshenko said his proposals, including one to decentralize power, would help de-escalate tensions in the country.
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian president also said he hoped the parliament would pass the bill in its first reading next week.
Last Friday, Poroshenko ordered a week-long ceasefire in the country's east and unveiled a 15-point peace plan, which included guarantees to militia troops agreeing to lay down their arms before the ceasefire elapsed.
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