June 9, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
The self-declared republics acknowledged Crimea and Sevastopol to be part of Ukraine. Such formulations are included in the proposed changes to Ukraine’s constitution which the republics sent to the Donbass conflict contact group. The document is available at the Lugansk Information Center site.
“The composition of Ukraine includes: the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (…), the cities of Kiev and Sevastopol”, says Article 133 of the document containing changes to the legal status of the separate parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions of Ukraine.
The authors of the project are emphasizing that “cities of Kiev and Sevastopol, the separate special status regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk districts have a special status which is defined by Ukraine’s laws.”
On July 8, LPR and DPR sent the proposed constitutional amendments to the OSCE representative at the political issues contact group. The “separate regions of the Donbass” are referred to as an “inseparable part of Ukraine.”
J.Hawk’s Comment: So now we know what all these references to “Ukraine’s territorial integrity” at the G-* summit were about. Which stands to reason. If LPR and DPR are to remain within Ukraine as autonomous republics, they nevertheless have to conform to certain aspects of Ukraine’s legal framework, including its foreign policy prerogatives. For that reason the article’s headline is kind of misleading–they are not “refusing” to do anything because ultimately Crimea’s status does not depend on LPR/DPR and nobody is asking them to recognize it as part of Russia. But it is a major step forward–no doubt all of these formulations are part of a compromise reached in the course of all these Normandy Four consultations which are supposed to bring about the full implementation of Minsk-2–which, incidentally, says nothing about the status of Crimea in any event.