Putin demands that Donbas special status be included in the constitution of Ukraine

At a press conference after the talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Kyiv should include the "special status of the Donbas" in the Constitution of Ukraine.

According to the Russian president, this is part of the Minsk agreements.

"The extension of the law on the special status of Donbas is a good step in the right direction, but the law should become indefinite, as stipulated in the Minsk agreements. It is necessary to consolidate the special status of the Donbas in the Ukrainian Constitution, which is also reflected in the Minsk agreements," said the Russian president, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

Putin added that he understands the "complexities of the internal political process" in Ukraine, but "if all interested parties want to achieve a final settlement, we need to continue with the implementation of the Minsk agreements."

At the talks of the "Normandy Four" in Paris, Ukraine agreed to a permanent special status for Donbas, as indicated in the Complex of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements of 2015.

At the same time, representatives of the Ukrainian government have repeatedly stated that they are not going to include it into the Constitution.

The current law on special order of local self-government in certain areas of Donbas is in effect from October 18, 2014 to December 31, 2020. The law stipulates that the special status provisions will come into force after democratic elections and the withdrawal of mercenaries from the separatist-held territories of the Donbas.

In October 2018, Ukraine agreed on the so-called "Steinmeier formula" which provides for the introduction of a temporary special status in the separatist-held areas of the Donbas on the day of voting in the local elections. Permanent status will come into force only if the OSCE recognizes the elections as democratic and compliant with international standards and Ukrainian law.

  Putin, Donbas, Russia, Ukraine