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    June 6, 2015

    Putin makes his first reference to DPR/LPR autonomy



    June 6, 2015

    Putin makes his first reference to DPR/LPR autonomy

    By Russkiy_Malchik

    Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
    "Naturally, the first step should be a constitutional reform that would ensure the autonomous rights to the corresponding territories of the non-recognized republics. The Kiev authorities don't want to call it autonomy--they prefer other terms, such as decentralization. As to our European partners--and it is they who introduced that language into the Minsk Agreements--they already have deciphered what decentralization ought to mean: it's the right to own language, cultural identity, border trade. Nothing special, nothing that goes against civilized norms of what is the natural due of national minorities in a European country. One must adopt a law on carrying out municipal elections on these territories, and likewise a law on amnesty. All of that should be done, that's what the Minsk Agreements say, in coordination with the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic, with those territories."

    ***

    In a big interview with the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, Vladimir Putin probably issued the first public and clear description of the ultimate objective of the Minsk Agreements--autonomous rights of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (and with those designations!) as part of Ukraine. And something tells me that Poroshenko had a similar understanding with France and Germany, namely that Russia is fine with preserving the appearance of Ukraine's unity but with the broadest possible autonomy of DPR/LPR and a de-facto recognition of its current leadership by Kiev and the West. That was the intended solution to the problem of cooling down the conflict in a way that would preserve Donbass' interests and that would constitutionally "reformat" Ukraine, which can exist as a russophobic entity only if it is a unitary state.

    So far it didn't work out that way. But this is a major development. Which ought to put to rest any discussion of Putin "flushing" Novorossia down the tubes.


    J.Hawk's Comment: As I wrote earlier, it is also consistent with the notion of Poroshenko fighting a two-front war against both Russia and the West, with only a weak, tentative, and sporadic (and, after Sochi, possibly non-existent) US support. Poroshenko's failure to implement the political provisions of Minsk-2 is not only an act of defiance aimed at Russia, but the West as well.
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