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Poroshenko proposes special self-rule status, free use of Russian in Donbass

September 15, 2014, 17:24 UTC+3 KIEV

The draft law that Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko submitted to the parliament calls for local elections in Donbass on November 9, 2014

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Petro Poroshenko

Petro Poroshenko


KIEV, September 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday proposed a special self-rule status for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the free use of the Russian language there. The special status of Donbass is designed for three years, the Ukrainian president said.

The draft law he submitted to the parliament calls for local elections in the region commonly known as Donbass on November 9, 2014.

It guarantees the use of the Russian or any other language “in public and private life, studying and supporting Russian or any other language, its free development and equal status”, the newspaper Ukrainska Pravda quoted the draft law as saying.

Kiev will also guarantee that the persons who participated in the fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions would not be prosecuted.

“The special status has a clear time definition: three years,” Poroshenko said. “Over this period, we will be able to implement issues of deep decentralization, which should also be a subject for making relevant amendments to the Constitution.”

The Ukrainian leader recalled that his peace plan focuses on the issue of a special status for certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

“In facts, they are elements of decentralization with full and unconditional observance of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our state, with all basic attributes, including the foreign security policy and legal policy, reliably belonging to the state,” he said.

Clashes between Kiev's troops and local militias in the southeast Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway areas, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, have killed thousands, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on cessation of fire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5. The long hoped-for ceasefire took effect the same day.

Speaking about a bill on an amnesty for participants of hostilities in Ukraine’s embattled eastern regions as part of his peace plan, Poroshenko said it does not cover certain types of crimes.

Those who committed crimes under Criminal Code articles covering premeditated murder, terrorism, attempts to kill a state figure, a law enforcement officer, a judge, rape, looting, vandalism and some other articles designed to ensure state integrity do not fall under the amnesty, Poroshenko said.

“The remaining articles are an absolutely normal world practice, which is a tool making it possible to start political implementation of the program to introduce peace,” the president said.

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