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June 16, 2014 19:01

Ukraine parliament likely to receive govt decentralization bill this week - president (Part 2)

KYIV. June 16 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Monday that he was likely to put a government decentralization bill before parliament this week.

"I think that this week I will sign the draft changes to the Constitution and introduce them to parliament," Poroshenko said at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council. He expressed hope that the draft changes would be submitted to the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) for approval this week as well.

"The draft changes to the Constitution contain the key element of the peace plan - decentralization of government, - something that the Ukrainian government has done a lot of work on. I have taken part in developing and approved the main points of it," the president said.

Such decentralization means "accountability and development tasks" would go over to "territorial communities and local councils that will be elected as bodies vested with new powers, and this will make it possible to form executive [bodies]," he said.

"I'm convinced that local government bodies will be empowered to deal with the lion's share of problems on the territory of a community, beginning with the problem of which language to use, whether Russian is to be used," Poroshenko said.

"Under the [draft constitutional amendments], a significant part of the cultural issues and a significant enlargement of budget resources would go along with a significant increase in the accountability of territorial communities," he said.

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