Kyiv extends Donbas 'special status' law

On Thursday, December 12, Ukrainian Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, extended the law on special provisions for local governments in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions until December 31 next year.

The bill was supported by 320 MPs.

According to the document, the possibility of an introduction of a temporary special status of local governments in the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, established by Article 1 of the current law, has been extended for a year. 

The law was initially adopted in 2014, in accordance with the first Minsk agreements. The document includes a serious expansion of the powers of the local authorities after the elections in the separatist-held areas of the Donbas.

In addition, amnesty is provided for "participants of hostilities in the Donetsk, Luhansk regions”.

The law allows free use of languages other than Ukrainian and provides for a special procedure for the appointment of prosecutors and judges.

Kyiv agrees to provide special economic support to the region and allows cooperation with the Border Control units of the Russian Federation. Local “people’s militia” units can be established, if required, to ensure public order.

However, all of these steps can be carried out only after the withdrawal of all “illegal military formations” from the territory of Ukraine with their military equipment. The elections can be conducted only under Ukrainian laws and under the control of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

The head of the "Servant of People" faction, David Arahamia, said that the amendments to the current law are formal and in the first article of the existing law only the year 2019 had been changed to 2020.

  Ukraine, Donbas, DPR, LPR