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East Ukraine Not Satisfied with Poroshenko's Self-Governance Bill

Rebel political leadership believes Kiev is trying to skirt, rather than fullfill, the requirements of the Minsk peace deal 

MOSCOW, March 17 (TASS) - The regions of Donbas need a separate law on a special status that will explain in detail all its aspects, the envoy of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic to the Contact Group, Vladislav Deinego, said on Tuesday.

"It would be well-timed to adopt a separate law "On special status" to give a full interpretation in all the aspects of the special status of certain areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions," Deinego told the LuganskInformCentre.

On Monday, Ukraine’s parliament speaker Volodymyr Groysman said that the draft law on the special order of self-governance in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, submitted by President Petro Poroshenko, does not contain any provisions on the special status of Donbas.

The document only mentions those territories where the elections should be held and where a special order of the local self-government is due to be established, Groysman said.

According to Deinego, the document in fact speaks about the special status without mentioning the word "status." The law will define the special aspects of the legislation’s application and the responsibility of Ukraine in certain areas.

"Therefore, this law only lays foundations for a special status, which come from the special order of self-governance, and in fact it would be appropriate to adopt a separate law on the special status of Donbass," Deinego said.

MOSCOW, March 17 (TASS) - The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) do not recognize amendments to the law on Donbas special status that have not been coordinated with them, DPR envoy to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday.

"Uncoordinated amendments to the law made by [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko are not recognized by the republics [DPR and LPR]," the Donetsk News Agency quoted Pushilin as saying.

"From our point of view, they [amendments] are legally meaningless and politically void," the envoy stressed. "And they directly violate the spirit and word of the Minsk agreements. The Minsk process is practically interrupted as its basis - the law on special status - is in fact cancelled by Poroshenko’s amendments. He [Poroshenko] does not respect the people of Donbas, he does not want peace," Pushilin said.

Self-proclaimed republics urge draft law approval

DPR and LPR authorities called on March 16 on Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada to approve the draft law on areas with special status in Donbas, DPR and LPR envoys in the Contact Group on Ukrainian peaceful settlement Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego said.

"We express hope that the draft law will be approved by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada as soon as possible," the Donetsk News Agency cited Pushilin and Deinego as saying. "’The party of war’ should not be able to use the adoption of the law for revising the ‘Law on Special Status’ and making amendments [to the law] that have not been coordinated with Donbass representatives," the envoys added.

"We stress that adopting the draft law without distorting the meaning of the Minsk package of measures will facilitate the process of peaceful settlement and create preconditions for mutual trust," Pushilin and Deinego said.

Law on Donbas special status

According to Article 4 of the package of measures on the implementation of the Minsk agreements, a law on areas in Donbass with special political and economic status must be adopted by the Verkovna Rada by March 14. However, the law has still not been adopted.

Heads of DPR and LPR Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Fracois Hollande to exert pressure on the Ukrainian leadership so that Kiev complies with the Minsk agreements.

Overnight to Monday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko submitted a law on Donbas special status to the Verkhovna Rada. According to the document, the special status in Donbas will be implemented only after local elections. According to the official website of the Ukrainian parliament, Rada’s next plenary session will take place on March 17.

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