Nuland and Poroshenko Play at Constitutional Reform to Blame Russia


August 10th, 2015, translated by Jafe Arnoldski

“Poroshenko changes the constitution in order to blame Russia for disrupting Minsk 2”

Experts interviewed by RIA Novosti believe that amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, supported by the Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, are intended to demonstrate the aspiration of Kiev authorities to carry out the Mink agreements, while at the same time blame Moscow for sabotaging them.

The day before, the Verkhovna Rada forwarded the draft of amendments to the Constitution for the decentralization of authority to the Constitutional Court of the country for examination. The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, brought the draft before Parliament at the beginning of July, but the day prior to voting it was amended. The transitional provisions of the original bill contained regulations envisaging that a special procedure for governance in the individual Lugansk and Donetsk regions (a special status provided by the Minsk Agreements) will be determined by a separate law. In the new version, this provision has been transferred to the text of the future, new constitution, but also in its transitional provisions.

In the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, it’s been stated that the changes to the draft amendments made by Poroshenko are not related to the Minsk peace process and do not remove the discrepancies between Kiev and Donbass on the issue of constitutional reform. Nuland, however, who was present in parliament during the consideration of the bill, stated after the session of parliament that the amendments by Kiev suggest that the authorities of Ukraine have fulfilled their obligations under the Minsk Agreements.

Georgy Fedorov, member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, believes that the amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine are a step of Poroshenko designed more for propagandistic rather than real effect.

“The majority of people didn’t read the Minsk Agreements – accordingly, this was a propagandistic move by Poroshenko’s side designed to show that his party has allegedly done everything possible. This is an old story and a well-known trick” , – stated Fedorov.

The same view is held by the Deputy Director of the Institute of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Vladimir Zharikhin.

“In essence, she (Nuland) publicly acknowledged the whole point of this operation. Obviously…it was getting more difficult to completely, unfoundedly blame Russia for reneging on the Minsk Agreements when Kiev violated all of the provisions of the agreement. Therefore, it was necessary to demonstrate that Kiev is set to fulfill these agreements”, – he states

For this purpose, the expert explains, a place was found “where it’s possible to create ambiguity – where they could sort of fulfill them and sort of not.” Such a place, in his opinion, turned out to be amendments to the constitution. But even making these changes, Kiev violates as a minimum two provisions of the set of measures, the expert notes.

“Firstly, they did not consult with the representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, which was straightforwardly prescribed (in the set of measures for the fulfillment of the Minsk Agreements). Secondly, they do not fulfill the references which are spelled out there.

According to the fundamental law of Ukraine, changes to the constitution can only be made if such is voted for by the Verkhovna Rada in two sessions with more than 300 votes. In this year only one session occurred, and in Minsk 2 it says that the changes must be made in 2015”, Zharikhin clarified.

“This is clearly a theatrical affair so that Nuland can say what she said. And now she will say this in spite of the obvious and despite the fact that these actions do not produce any kind of fulfillment of the Minsk Agreements”, – he added.

Assessing the possible goals of such “demonstrative affairs,” Zharikhin stated that “Kiev in reality categorically does not want in to include in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the framework of the Minsk Agreements in the political economic space of Ukraine.”

“Therefore they are doing everything to not include them, and in this way blame the failures of compliance with the Minsk Agreements on Russia. Then there will be such theatrical actions like we just saw”, – he explained.

In turn, Fedorov pointed out that the visit of Nuland once again demonstrates “external control is in fact occuring in Ukraine.”

“Any step that Poroshenko makes is coordinated directly with specialists from the USA. The SBU and UAF also are under such control, and even Yatsenyuk works with American economic advisors. It is therefore possible to speak here about external management”, – concluded the interlocutor of the agency.

The reform of the constitution of Ukraine as part of decentralization is stipulated by the Minsk Agreements from February 12. The amendments should take into account the features of “the separate Donetsk and Lugansk regions, agreed upon with the representatives of these regions.” The authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics repeatedly sent their proposals for reform, but did not receive a response.

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