Merkel, Hollande Urge Poroshenko to Give Donbass Self-Rule

Poroshenko now finds himself between a rock and Right Sector. The right-wing bruisers who helped bring him to power are in open revolt. And now his closest European allies have gone public with their dissatisfaction over Kiev’s so-called constitutional “reforms.” Via AFP:

German Chancellor Angel Merkel and French President Francois Hollande took the rare step Friday of pressing Ukraine’s Western-backed leader to ensure partial self-rule for the pro-Russian separatist east.

Poroshenko said Merkel and Hollande – both present at the Minsk agreement’s signing in February – had “recommended that the president of Ukraine continue with (his) constitutional reforms”.

The two “especially stressed that the draft constitution of Ukraine reflects special self-rule for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”.

Hollande’s office confirmed that the French leader and Merkel placed “particular emphasis on the special status of certain areas in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the draft constitution”.

Kiev has thus far refused to sit down at the negotiating table with rebel leaders, and has made it clear that it is unwilling to even consider proposals for constitutional reform from Donbass. To quote the always-quotable Yatsenyuk, Kiev “won’t negotiate with terrorists.” 

This is a massive, unrepentant violation of the Minsk agreements. Merkel and Hollande know this – and now we are witnessing Europe’s first public admonishment of Poroshenko. 

Despite America arm-twisting, it appears that Europe is beginning to wake up. Poroshenko might have a one-way ticket to Elba soon. 

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