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Ukraine’s MP says there will be no special status for Donbass

October 03, 2017, 14:16 UTC+3 KIEV

Kiev has ruled out the possibility of prolonging the law on the special status of Donbass

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© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

KIEV, October 3. /TASS/. Representative of Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers Vadim Denisenko in Verkhovna Rada has ruled out the possibility of prolonging the law on the special status of Donbass.

"This is a myth that appeared two years ago in one of Rada’s political forces," he said on Tuesday. "There have been and there will be no special status for Donbass, and no one will ever vote for it in the parliament."

Asked to comment on a new document known as the law on the Donbass reintegration that is being prepared for study by the parliament, Denisenko admitted that he has not seen the final version of the document. "I cannot make any comments," the cabinet of ministers’ representative said. "We’ve all seen the conception, but so many new myths about the character of this draft law appear each day that one has to study it first and then make comments."

On Monday, Verkhovna Rada Deputy Speaker Oksana Syroid reported that the fundamental principles on provision of a special status for certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions were included in the new draft law on the Donbass reintegration. These norms "are hidden in the maze of the draft law’s transitional provisions," she said. She called the impending vote for this document "a new presidential assault over the Ukrainian Constitution and statehood."

The law "On the special order of local self-governance in separate areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions," that is the basis for political settlement under the Minsk accords, was adopted in October 2014 with a three-year term. It was never used by Kiev, however, In March 2015, despite the Minsk accords and without coordination with Donbass representatives, Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko introduced amendments to the document that actually blocked its operation.

On October 18, the three-year term for the law will expire. In light of this, the issue of its extension arose. Kiev is still silent, however. Work on another draft law dubbed "On special aspects of state policy to restore Ukraine’s state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk Regions" (the draft law on the Donbass reintegration) has been underway at the same time.

It suggests, among other things, strengthening of Russia’s status as an "aggressor state" in terms of legislation, and the term "temporarily occupied territories" for referring to the region itself. In particular, it extends the president’s powers to use the armed forces. It emerged earlier that the Ukrainian presidential administration completed coordination of the draft law text and expects Rada to adopt it before October 18.

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