Putin: Kiev should consider federal system

Russia will not interfere in the choice of a model for state development by Ukraine, president Vladimir Putin said, adding that he could not understand why the authorities in Kiev were opposing federalization of their country. “For some unclear reason, our Ukrainian partners feel so apprehensive of a federation but it’s their choice anyway and we won’t meddle with it by any means,” Putin said at a youth forum in central Russia.

On the face of it, he said he was confident of the importance of consolidating federalism in Russia. “It’s a very important and meaningful element of our state system because it enables us to take a much better account of our citizens’ interests, as well as ethnic, historical, religious, and cultural specificity regardless of where they live,” Putin said.

There is a big enough number of countries that have a federated state structure – Russia, the US, Brazil, Germany, and some others, he indicated.

According to the president, it is necessary to discuss what kind of rights Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics will have and the south-east of the Ukraine on the whole and after that to register everything in the form of laws.

“This is not happening and it is important to realize it and to force the Ukrainian authorities to start thorough negotiations, not only on technical issues, which are certainly of extreme importance, but on substantive (issues) as well,” Putin said.

“This is what must be discussed,” Putin said. “It is important to agree on the essence, but they refuse to agree on the essence and this is the problem.”

The West needs to realize that the Ukrainian authorities are unable to establish order in their country and to force Kiev to start substantial negotiations with the embattled south-eastern regions, Putin said on Friday.