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President of Ukraine invited the Council of Europe to take part in the work of the Constitutional Commission and ensuring free and fair elections in Donbas
18 March 2015 19:23

At the meeting with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland, the President has discussed the activity of the newly established Constitutional Commission. The President has emphasized that Ukraine was interested in participation of the Venice Commission experts in the work of the Constitutional Commission from the very beginning.

The Head of State has noted that the participation of the Venice Commision experts would make the work of the Constitutional Commission more fast and ensure transparency of all procedures. "We must work in close coordination with the Parliament, NGOs, Venice Commission and President from the very beginning. It will accelerate the decision-making process," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe has highly evaluated the democratic changes in Ukraine over the past year and supported the initiatives of the President on the creation of the Constitutional Commission and the introduction of constitutional changes.

According to the Secretary General, constitutional amendments must unite the country and create more preconditions for the acceleration of decentralization and enhancement of democracy.

The President has particularly noted that Ukraine was fulfilling the Minsk agreements. He has informed that the Parliament had endorsed his legislative initiatives on the special order of local government in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. "Legislative amendments provide for these laws to enter into force immediately after the elections, because upon voting we will have legally elected representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk regions with which we will define the future of this region. And the second moment, which makes Russia really nervous - we require these elections to be free and fair and meet the international standards," the President said.

Thorbjшrn Jagland has supported recent legislative amendments on the elections in Donbas. The Secretary General has underlined the need for resolving the situation in Donbas in full conformity with the Minsk agreements, which can be transferred to the lawful scale with the assistance of the Council of Europe.

The Head of State has addressed the Secretary General with a request to facilitate the liberation of all hostages, including those kept in Russia, particularly Oleh Sentsov and Nadiya Savchenko.

The President has also underlined the need for immediate resolution of difficult humanitarian situation in Donbas and providing access to the occupied territories for the Ukrainian and international humanitarian cargoes.

The President has mentioned the need for holding the expertise of the Law "On Ensuring the Right to Fair Court" with the involvement of the Venice Commission experts. The Head of State has addressed the Secretary General with a request to accelerate holding of such expertise for it to be made before the Law enters into force.

Speaking of illegal annexation of Crimea, Thorbjшrn Jagland has reminded that the Venice Commission had made its conclusion about the illegitimacy of the so-called "referendum". "This conclusion is much more stronger than any political statements," the Secretary General emphasized. The parties have also discussed gross violations of human rights in Crimea.

The Secretary General has noted that he was constantly thinking about Ukraine. "It is incredible when you make important reforms in such difficult conditions, having financial problems and military confrontation in your territory," he said.

The Head of State has noted that Ukraine appreciated concrete projects and vectors of cooperation elaborated with the assistance of the PACE and the Committee of Ministers for the implementation of national reforms, including the program of reforms within the Strategy - 2020. Petro Poroshenko has assured of the willingness to implement these projects. "We are working hard to achieve criteria for the application and receiving the EU membership prospect," he noted.

The meeting has also been attended by Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Vladimir Ristovski, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in Ukraine Christos Giakoumopoulos, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin, Deputy Heads of the Presidential Administration Valeriy Chaly and Oleksiy Filatov as well as Head of the Verkhovna Rada's Delegation to the PACE Volodymyr Ariev.

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