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Donetsk republic official calls Kiev's special status law bluff and PR

October 17, 2014, 16:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Deputy premier of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic says the law was designed specifically for this week's meeting in Milan

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MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. Law giving special status to east Ukraine's Donbass region is Kiev’s bluff and a PR move designed specifically for this week's meeting in Milan, Italy, between the Russian and German heads of state, the deputy premier of the self-proclaimed eastern region Donetsk People’s Republic said.

The new legislation passed by the central authorities in Kiev guarantees immunity from criminal prosecution for those who fought in Donbass and introduces a three-year local governance regime. But territory granted this power has not been specified, Donetsk deputy leader Andrei Purgin said Friday.

September accords reached in Minsk, Belarus, to end conflict between local militias and government forces were not reflected in the legislation, he said.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko signed the law in a way which made it senseless, Purgin said. "Districts vested with special status rights were not mentioned in this law. Ukraine’s parliament should adopt an additional resolution specifying the territory where the law will be in effect,” he told the region's Novorossia media center.

“Kiev's step can be taken as imitating fulfilment of the Minsk deals, he added. "It is just unreal. Minsk accords are not implemented, special status seems to exist but is not granted to anyone, in fact. It is Kiev’s bluff and a PR move especially for the Milan meeting between Putin and Merkel.”

Donetsk People's Republic Prime Minster Alexander Zakharchenko has already announced that the republic intended to hold elections on November 2, despite signing of the special status law.

“We will not observe this law," he said. "We do not care at all what the president of a foreign country signs. We want to hold our elections on November 2. We seek independence. We believe our territory was occupied illegally.”

The republic’s Supreme Council chairman, Boris Litvinov, told TASS that the republic intended to go “its own way” despite the new law. Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov noted meanwhile that “this is just formality” containing intentions, just plans to be enacted.

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