12 Nov 2019 20:32

Kyiv's TCG negotiators refuse to talk about entrenching Donbas' special status in constitution, Donetsk says

DONETSK. Nov 12 (Interfax) - At a meeting of the political subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) in Minsk on Tuesday, Kyiv's representatives expressed their understanding of the need to extend the law on a special status for Donbas but refused to talk about writing it into the constitution, the foreign ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) said.

"The central issue of today's meeting was an extension of the law on a special status for Donbas and subsequent work on possible amendments thereto on the basis of the Package of Measures in view of the need for the Steinmeir Formula's implementation. Because the law in its current version takes into account the main peculiarities stipulated in the Minsk agreements, there is no need to pass an entirely new law. Instead, the current version should be prolonged in parallel with the political group drafting and agreeing its amendments thereto and the approval of these by the Contact Group," the ministry stated after the meeting.

The coordinator of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) fully backed the position of the DPR and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) on the issue, the ministry said.

"We welcome the fact that today Kyiv's representatives also expressed their understanding of the need to prolong the effective period of the law," the statement reads.

However, the Ukrainian negotiators refused to talk about the main focus of the political subgroup, namely, entrenching the special status for Donbas in the constitution, "even though this matter is not only an explicit requirement of the Package of Measures, but is also an objectively necessary step towards making the special status permanent," DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova was quoted by the press service as saying.

The DPR negotiator reiterated that merely agreeing on the Steinmeier Formula was not enough and that this mechanism should also be implanted into Ukrainian legislation in mandatary consultation with DPR and LPR representatives.