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Law on special status for Donbass should not be used for campaign goals — Russia MP

October 17, 2014, 14:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
We hope that the law will contribute to the peaceful settlement of the crisis in south-eastern Ukraine, head of State Duma's Committee for CIS Affairs Leonid Slutsky says
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MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Russian State Duma, urged Kiev on Friday to use the law on the special status of eastern Ukraine’s regions only to restore peace, and not for election campaign goals.

“We hope that the law will contribute to the peaceful settlement of the crisis in south-eastern Ukraine,” said Leonid Slutsky, who heads the State Duma’s Committee for CIS Affairs.

The lawmaker said the law, which comes just a week ahead of the parliamentary election due on October 26, should not be exploited for political goals. He did not rule out that the law could turn into an election “stalking horse.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the law on the special status of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions on Thursday. The legislation was passed by the parliament in mid-September.

The law guarantees the right to freely use and study Russian or any other language in Ukraine. It also states that local elections are to take place on December 7 to establish new councils in districts, cities and villages.

The prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko said on Friday the republic will hold its own elections on November 2, despite the president’s move to sign the law.

“We will not perceive this law. This does not concern us as it is signed by the president of another country. We are set to hold elections on November 2. We are determined to get independence. We believe that our territory has been illegally occupied,” Zakharchenko said.

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