Publication date: 28 January 2016
The December First Initiative Group shares the concerns of the majority of Ukrainian citizens regarding the proposed changes to the Constitution – including the manner in which they are being proposed, and the consequences of implementing the changes in the section connected with the so-called “Minsk agreement”.
The Initiative Group, which is not a political group and is not assuming the role of a legal expert or analyst of the proposed changes, nevertheless wishes to express its principal thoughts with respect to this urgent question:
1. The absence of public trust with respect to that section of the proposed changes concerning issues connected with the occupation of the Donbas by Russian terrorist groups is extremely alarming. Society is convinced that these changes are being proposed as a result of pressures being exerted by the aggressor country and Ukraine’s western allies, and are contrary to the national interests of our country.
2. The government has not been able to convincingly refute the above statement, nor to alleviate the trepidation of a significant part of society about the danger of recognising and legitimising the illegal DNR and LNR regimes by adopting such changes to the Constitution of Ukraine, which can lead to the destruction of the structure of the state, and the loss of its unitary nature.
3. It is important to reiterate, that the basis of the independent existence of any country is the indivisibility of its territory, full control over its borders, the unconditional, inclusive to all and not selective, application of all laws.
Ukrainians have confirmed their determination to fight with weapons for these fundamental principles.
It is also important to remember that, for example, the French Constitution underlines that “no procedure of reconsidering the Constitution can be initiated or continued during an attempt to undermine the integrity of the territory”. Why can’t this example from the French Constitution be followed in Ukraine?
4. The Initiative Group calls on the government to consider the danger of a national schism in the event, if the new Constitution of Ukraine is adopted under pressure from foreign countries without its proper understanding by and the acceptance of its citizens.
In supporting in general a peaceful solution to the deoccupation of the Donbas, the First December Initiative Group is waiting for an open and honest national dialogue on questions, which will affect the fate of the Ukrainian people and the state.
The government should firmly stand in defence of the national interests of Ukraine, which are its highest value, rejecting the language of ultimatums and leading, at the same time, a dialogue in search of a compromise, based on national trust.
Viacheslav Brioukhovetsky, Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, Lubomyr Cardinal Husar, Ivan Dziuba, Yevhen Zakharov, Myroslav Marynovych, Volodymyr Panchenko, Myroslav Popovych, Vadym Skurativskyi, Yuri Shcherbak, Ihor Yukhnovsky
We remind that Initiative Group “First of December” was created on the twentieth anniversary of the referendum for the Independence of Ukraine. It included senior national intellectuals and aims to achieve the establishment of new rules in the country.