© REUTERS/ Mykola Lazarenko/Pool
KIEV, September 29 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian authorities consider only delegating powers to the local councils and setting up a special zone in Donbass for three years, as a part of decentralization process, not federalization, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told “1+1” TV channel Sunday.
“I can reassure that neither sovereignty issue, nor the issues of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence are on the agenda. Ukraine is and will be an integral state. No federalization is considered – Ukraine will remain an inclusive and unitary state. Today we speak about delegating certain powers to the local councils. This is my plan of power decentralization,” Poroshenko told “1+1” TV channel.
President also noted that a special zone in Donbass, envisaged by the law on special status for parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of September 16, will be created only for three years.
Poroshenko stated earlier that he would propose to make changes to the Constitution on decentralization issue after parliamentary election scheduled for October 26 takes place.
Kiev authorities and independence supporters of eastern Ukraine aligned positions on a ceasefire and a number of issues, concerning the status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on September 5 at a Contact Group meeting in the Belarusian capital Minsk, as outlined in the Minsk Protocol.
Following the protocol, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved a law, granting special status to parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on September 16. The protocol also suggests that the law should allow early elections of the heads of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.
The meeting of the Contact Group on September 19 resulted in formulating a memorandum outlining nine provisions to regulate the implementation of a bilateral ceasefire between Kiev and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Germany is ready to assist Ukraine and Iraq, despite problems within its own armed forces, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told ARD.
The conflicts in Ukraine and Iraq are calling for Germany to take responsibility and it is ready to do so, von der Leyen said in an interview with German public broadcaster ARD on Saturday.
German media have previously reported equipment problems within the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces, because of which the country had temporary difficulties, fulfilling its military duties.
According to the defense minister, the problems are related to the late delivery of spare parts for aircraft and the technical failure of some helicopters belonging to the naval forces. These problems are not solely due to her own faults, she stated, but also to the mistakes of the defense industry.
On September 5, a meeting of the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine was held in Minsk and resulted in a ceasefire deal between Kiev and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine, which took effect on the day. The sides also agreed to international monitoring. On September 19, the Contact Group drew up a memorandum, which included OSCE monitoring the sides’ fulfillment of their agreements.
Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan has stated that the monitoring would be carried out by ground patrols and drones, with the latter being provided by Germany and France. Media reports on Saturday suggested that Berlin was considering sending 200 troops to Ukraine as well.
Germany is also a partner of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS), an extremist group that has seized vast territories in Iraq and Syria, and declared an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control. Though it is not participating in the coalition’s airstrikes against IS, Germany has agreed to provide Kurdish fighters with equipment and military training.