Russia urges Ukraine to adopt Federal Constitution

Moscow on Monday called on Ukraine to draft a new federal constitution granting broadened powers to the country’s disparate regions in order to protect minority populations, RIA Novosti reported.

The Russian Foreign Ministry urged the Ukrainian parliament in a statement to convene a constitutional assembly to provide for greater autonomy for the country’s regions, guarantee Russian as a second official language, and enshrine a principle of geopolitical neutrality for the country.

The draft constitution would need to pass a public referendum before nationwide elections are held, the ministry said.

Russia has proposed setting up an international contact group to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine that erupted in November following a step back by President Viktor Yanukovych from closer ties with Europe.

“The current situation in Ukraine was not created by us, it is the result of a deep crisis in the Ukrainian state that led to a polarization of society and an escalation of conflict among various parts of the country,” the statement said.

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