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Law on special status of Donbass to presuppose co-financing by Kiev, Moscow

September 26, 2014, 20:42 UTC+3 KIEV

There will be guarantees for for a special economic zone, meaning that money earned locally would remain in the region, Ukraine's presidential aide Yuriy Lutsenko says

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KIEV, September 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s new law granting a special status to separate districts of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions will have a provision on a possible voluntary co-financing of those territories by Ukraine and Russia likewise, Yuriy Lutsenko, an aide to President Petro Poroshenko, said Friday.

“The bill on the special status that will be submitted to the parliament next week envisions a special humanitarian status, which reaffirms the guarantees for using the Russian language,” Lutsenko said. “There will also be guarantees for electing deputies of town halls and district councils and for a special economic regime, which I would compare to a special economic zone, meaning that money earned locally would remain in the region.”

“Also, the budget of that zone could be replenished by Moscow and Kiev simultaneously,” he said. “They (the districts embraced by the bill) should pay for everything on their own, since this is a special status, but they will have the money they earn themselves as well as the money provided by Moscow and Kiev,” Lutsenko said.

Along with this, he admitted the uncertainty around the recepients of taxes that these districts with the special status would pay, saying that this remains an open question.

President Poroshenko said in a speech at the Yalta European Strategy international forum Friday the law giving a special status to some parts of the Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine) did not carry any risks for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

“Anyone concerned about the contents of the law on the special status of parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions won’t find any threats to the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine in that law,” he said.

He said the agencies of local self-government would stay in charge of budgetary issues and resolve the problems related to the use of language.

“Along with it, the main issues like international politics, security and the upkeep of the Armed Forces will remain in the hands of central agencies of power,” Poroshenko said.

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