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Poroshenko Submits Plan Granting Autonomy In Eastern Ukraine

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President Petro Poroshenko has submitted a constitutional change to Ukraine's parliament providing autonomy to the country's southeastern regions.

According to the parliament's website, the draft proposal would include a section in the constitution on the special status of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Ukrainska Pravda newspaper reported July 16 that Poroshenko decided to submit the constitutional amendments following a visit from U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland on July 15.

The United States and leaders of France and Germany have been urging Poroshenko to submit constitutional changes carrying out provisions of the Minsk agreement calling for self-rule in the Donbass region.

Russia has frequently cited Kyiv's reluctance to carry out the Minsk autonomy provisions as an obstacle to lasting peace in Ukraine's war-torn east, where separatists backed by Russia have been battling the government.

Poroshenko submitted constitutional changes on decentralization on July 1, but they did not envision a special status for Donbass.

Vice Speaker Oksana Syroyed said on her Facebook page July 16 that Ukrainian legislators are feeling 'terrible pressure' from the 'world community' to grant Donbass autonomy 'to demonstrate the implementation of the Minsk agreements.' 

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David William Pear is currently a columnist and Senior Contribution Editor of The Greanville Post. His articles and essays focus on U.S. foreign and military policy. He is an advocate for peace, ending wars of aggression, and promoting (more...)

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