Separatists give up sovereignty claims, demand more autonomy

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s war-torn Donbass region say they will relinquish if Kiev ensures greater autonomy

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics pledged on Wednesday to give up their claims over independency in return for greater autonomy within Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Both representatives from Donetsk and Luhansk called Kiev government in a joint statement on Wednesday to respond to their demands by making constitutional changes that recognise their special status with increased autonomy.

The representative of Donetsk Denis Pushilin and Luhansk’s negotiator Vladislav Deynego asked Ukrainian parliament to allow formation of local police forces and a special economic system as well as giving Russian language an official status in the region.

They also called Ukrainian government to refrain from any military alignment by implying Kiev’s recent decision to incline towards NATO.

“We have once again sent our written legislative proposals,” Pushilin said, according to Donetsk News Agency.

“If Ukraine accepts these amendments into its constitution, then both the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics will make the according changes in their constitutions,” said Pushilin.

The Kiev government has vowed to protect its territorial integrity as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been reiterating several times that they would take back the breakaway regions since the conflict erupted.  

Poroshenko said last week that his country’s membership in the Euro-Atlantic Alliance must be incorporated to the national security document during a National Security and Defence Council meeting in Kiev.

Under Russia’s geopolitical reserves and military pressure, Ukraine’s former deposed president Viktor Yanukovych had adopted a non-aligned status in 2010, which limited Kiev to joining possible security alliances against Moscow.

But the country abandoned its non-aligned status by turning its face to the NATO at the end of last year when the separatist war escalated between Kiev and the breakaway regions in the east.

Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council discussed last Wednesday the country’s increasing security deficit in the wake of one year of civil war during which more than 6,100 people lost their lives, according to UN figures.  

Speaking before the parliament on Friday, Poroshenko said the death toll in Ukraine’s separatist war that erupted last year in April was almost 7000 people.

The Minsk ceasefire agreement has calmed down the situation between the Kiev and pro-Russian separatists even though the fragile peace was sporadically violated by both sides.

The ceasefire agreement was first sealed in the Belarussian capital Minsk last September and the parties clinched the armistice again under the monitoring mission of Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Feb. 12.

But the Ukrainian leadership suspects that whether Moscow abides by the agreed armistice in Minsk since violations have recently increased again in the east of the country.


TRTWorld and agencies