KIEV, October 3. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has asked the Verkhovna Rada to urgently study a draft law on extending the special status of the Donbass territories not under Kiev’s control. The document was registered with the parliament on behalf of the head of state on Wednesday.
The document stipulates the introduction of changes into Section 1 of the law "On the special order for local self-governance in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions." There is no text of the document on the Rada’s official website yet.
The law on granting a special self-governance status to some areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions was adopted in October 2014 for a three-year period. It is a key document for a political settlement in eastern Ukraine. Representatives for the self-proclaimed Donbass republics repeatedly stated that any rejection to extend it would mean abandoning the implementation of the Minsk accord.
On October 6, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law "Creating conditions for a peaceful settlement to the situation in some areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions," that prolongs the special status of Donbass for one year. Still, Kiev introduced amendments to the law, under which the special status will come into force only after the current Ukrainian authorities gain total control over the territory from which "all illegal armed groups and military equipment, as well as militants and mercenaries" are to be withdrawn.
The law on the special status of Donbass expires on October 6, 2018. In early September, Verkhovna Rada’s First Deputy Vice Speaker Irina Gerashchenko stated that the decision to hold elections in the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR) on November 11 would hamper the approval to prolong the law on the special status of Donbass. On September 15, US Department of State Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Walker restated the need for Ukraine to prolong the law on the special status of Donbass.