Ukraine will not give a ‘special status’ to parts of the Donbas on Russia’s terms – Kuleba

2 February 2022, 01:25 PM

Ukraine will not allow Russia to dictate what the form of “special status” for the non-government-controlled parts of the Donbas region will be, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said in an interview with Polish daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita on Feb. 1.

Kuleba said Russia was pushing for the non-government-controlled territories to be granted powers to veto Ukrainian national policy decisions.

“Not a single region of Ukraine will have the power to veto nationwide decisions. It’s carved in stone!” Kuleba said.

“So there will be no (such) special status, no power of veto, as Russia believes.”

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The foreign minister said Ukraine was carrying out a deep reform of decentralization, and that Ukraine was ready to work on the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

“But the Minsk agreements begin with security issues,” Kuleba said.

“The political part is only in second place. Therefore, everyone should first focus on security.”

In April 2021, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia would not allow Ukraine to regain control over the border and the non-government-controlled areas of the Donbas region until local elections were held there.

Moreover, Russia demands that an amnesty for the Russian proxy forces in the occupied territories be granted.

However, Ukrainian officials have pointed out the impossibility of carrying out free and fair elections in a territory still occupied by Russian proxy forces, and have refused to consider any amnesty for combatants that may have been involved in war crimes.

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