Autonomy proposed for Russians in Ukraine

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic have proposed amendments to the Ukrainian constitution to vest individual districts in eastern Ukraine with vast autonomy, including authority to regulate cross-border cooperation and the use of the Russian language.

What are termed as districts with “a special status” would also be authorized to control law courts and prosecution services on their territory, those the district prosecution services would be parts of the Ukrainian national prosecution service.

The consent of the government bodies of “special status” districts would be necessary for the appointment and dismissal of the districts’ chief prosecutors, but other regulations on their prosecution services would be established by Ukrainian law.

The DPR and LPR also proposed a formal non-bloc status for Ukraine by “making an amendment to the Constitution of Ukraine, for instance supplementing Article17 or 18 with the following words: ‘Ukraine shall not be a member of any military bloc or alliance, maintain neutrality and refrain from participation in hostilities outside its territory,’ and/or bringing out a law of Ukraine to enshrine the non-bloc, neutral status for Ukraine.”

Such districts would be authorized to call local referendums and elections, draft and adopt their own budgets, and participate in drafting the Ukrainian budget in order to make sure that their interests are taken into account and to “guarantee their financial independence.”

“Special status” districts would be empowered to permit the use of Russian and other languages on their territory and to sign economic agreements with foreign states or individual regions of foreign states.

They would be authorized to set rates for local taxes and fees for local administrative services.

The DPR and LPR also proposed a constitutional amendment to prescribe that the Ukrainian government sign economic or cultural agreements with “special status” districts or associations of such districts and to help them step up cross-border cooperation.

Source: Interfax