Russian FM Lavrov urges major constitutional reform in Ukraine

Russian FM Lavrov urges major constitutional reform in Ukraine
In order to solve the ongoing crisis in the country, Ukrainian authorities must launch constitutional reform uniting all political forces and all regions of the war-torn country, the Russian Foreign Minister has said.

The reform must take into consideration all strata of Ukrainian society and representatives from all the country’s regions, Sergey Lavrov stated in an interview with Kommersant daily, released on Thursday.These deputies must agree on issues of language, culture and history, on taxes and subsidies and first of all – on the procedure of election or appointment of regional leaders and their interaction with Kiev.

It is impossible to imagine that the people in southeastern Ukraine will celebrate the birthdays of Shukhevich and Bandera. Just as now we understand that in the West of Ukraine, Victory Day is being viewed from a completely different historical angle than the one we and the overwhelming majority of the people in the South-East are used to,” the minister said.

Lavrov also emphasized that the Russian authorities had no intention of imposing their views on the Kiev regime. He said that Moscow’s motive was to support peace talks between all sides of the conflict.

The top Russian diplomat acknowledged that the situation in Donbass was improving as Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk continued to draw lines of division and withdraw armed forces from the zone of conflict. “Everyone is registering a sharp decrease in the number of incidents, people are not being killed there anymore. There are separate incidents with casualties, but compared with what they had there, this is like heaven and earth,” Lavrov noted.

The minister reiterated the Russian stance that the southeastern regions must be seen as a single economic space united with the rest of Ukraine.

Sanctions against Russia violate international law

In the same interview, Lavrov said that as humanity faces ongoing globalization and increasing mutual dependence, the international community should stop using simplified schemes and introduce a complex approach to crisis management.

We have a geopolitical challenge connected with a very careless attitude to international law and attempts to ignore the principles of collective security fixed in the UN charter, centering on the Security Council. Instead we see the imposing of certain views on everything and everyone, using the principle ‘I will do what I want, rewarding those who agree with me and forcing those who don’t to agree by various means’,” the Russian foreign minister told the newspaper.

This is the most serious threat to world order,” he underlined.

Lavrov gave an example of recently introduced Western sanctions against Russia, saying these measures completely contradicted international law.

What we witness now in connection with the unilateral restrictions introduced by the USA, EU and some other countries is definitely violating international norms, including, in a number of cases, WTO regulations, as well as the declared conceptual approaches of our Western colleagues to the development of international cooperation,” he said.

In Lavrov’s view the anti-Russian campaign waged by the US and its allies could be explained by economic reasons – those who introduced the sanctions did so to hurt their competitors. Besides, the attacks were seeking to destabilize the situation inside Russia, the minister noted. “They are seeking to inflict unacceptable damage to the Russian economy, to make the people feel that their life is becoming worse under the current regime,” Lavrov said, noting that this makes the sanctions a political tool. This is illegitimate as they have never been coordinated and agreed on with the UN Security Council.