World Bulletin/News Desk
Russia urged Ukraine on Friday to carry out genuine rather than "cosmetic" constitutional reform, pressing Moscow's call for the former Soviet republic to give more power to its regions which have many Russian speakers.
Russia argues that constitutional reforms, which Kiev is now undertaking, are happening behind closed doors, without public debate, underlining its fears that the interests of Ukraine's Russian-speaking community will not be taken into account.
"One needs to deal with real constitutional reform, not just cosmetic, and for that one needs to stop meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine," he said at a joint news conference with other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a bloc of former Soviet states.
"Otherwise it looks like the West has taken up the role of arbiter of Ukraine's fate, while the current authorities ... lack significant independence."
Ukraine's interim government said last month it could review Kiev's membership of the Moscow-dominated CIS after Russia annexed the Crimea region in the wake of the fall of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich to a protest movement seeking closer relations with Europe.
The Kiev government complained that other CIS members had supported Moscow's takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, which has a slim, ethnic Russian majority. There are also many Russian speakers in the east of Ukraine.
Ukraine also said it no longer wished to serve as 2014 chairman of the CIS, which has limited decision-making power.Last Mod: 04 Nisan 2014, 14:21