6 October 2017, 13:46
Position of Donbass and Russia made Kiev prolong law on special status - expert
LUGANSK, October 6 (Lugansk Media Center) – Kiev had to prolong the law on Donbass special status due to Donbass Republics and Russia's position of principle, TASS news agency cited Alexey Chesnakov, the director of Political Conjuncture Center.
On October 6, Ukrainian parliament has adopted the law on "establishing conditions for peace settlement of the situation in separate regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions", which prolongs the law on the special status for one more year, though it has never been applied in reality. The adopted document stipulates that all 'unlawful armed groups and hardware, fighters and mercenaries should be withdrawn' from Donbass in order to enact the law on the region's status, which is a critical condition of the Minsk Agreements.
"The Verkhovnaya Rada has prolonged the law on special status under the pressure from Donbass and Russia," Chesnakov said. "It signifies the Russia's decisive influence in defining the destiny of Donbass, and all Ukraine. It also means Ukraine doesn't make its own decisions any longer. In Kiev. Nobody wants the special status for Donbass, but they had to vote yes, because Russia, Germnay and the US decided so."
In October 2014, Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko signed the law on special order of local selfgovernance in certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions which granted them special status for three years. However, Ukraine has never applied the law whose operation terminates on 18 October 2017.
Contrary to the Minsk Agreements and without coordinating his move with the Donbass Republics, Poroshenko introduced amendments to the law in March 2015 which in effect blocked its operation. In early 2016, the then German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier suggested a mechanism to enforce the law on Donbass special status on the day of local elections on a temporary basis, and permanently upon the OSCE publishing its report on the elections outcome.
The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on 12 February 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by its 2202 Resolution and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.
The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
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