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Diplomat comments on Ukrainian parliament’s initiatives on Donbass

October 17, 20:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On October 6, the Ukrainian parliament passed in first reading a bill on reintegration of Donbass

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MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada’s (parliament) recent legislative initiatives on Donbass run counter to the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich said on Tuesday.

"Everything the Rada and the current political authorities are now doing run counter to the Minsk agreements. The Kiev authorities are doing absolutely nothing of what they must do under the Minsk accords," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel. "Hence, all these attempts to reverse political settlement may frustrate the entire architecture of the Minsk agreements."

On October 6, the Ukrainian parliament passed in first reading a bill on reintegration of Donbass. The bill, initiated by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, refers to the region as "temporarily occupied territories" and defines Russia’s actions as "aggression against Ukraine." The bill provides for setting up the joint operation headquarters of the Ukrainian armed forces to control all military units and military-civil administrations in the conflict zone and gives the president the right to use armed forces inside the country without the parliament’s consent.

On the same day, the Verkhovna Rada passed a law extending Donbass’ special status for one more year.

The Minsk agreements, signed by members of the Trilateral Contact Group in February 2015 and approved by leaders of the Normandy Four group (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine), lay the foundation for a peaceful settlement in Donbass. The deal envisages not only a ceasefire and a withdrawal of weapons, amnesty and restoration of economic ties, but also profound constitutional reforms in Ukraine to decentralize power, granting special status to certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the country’s east. However, nothing has been done as of yet.

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