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MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Monday a bill on amendments to the law on Donbas special status that has been submitted to the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) is a blatant violation of the complex of measures to implement the Minsk agreements.
"We consider Rada’s draft resolution and a bill on amendments to article 10 of the law on the special status of Donbas as flagrant violation of the peace plan approved by the Contact Group and endorsed by the leaders of the Normandy Four. If these documents are passed, it might end up in the frustration of the implementation of the complex of measures and peace settlement in general," Denis Pushilin, DPR’s representative in the Contact Group in Ukraine, said in a statement posted on the website of the Donetsk News Agency.
He reminded that in line with provision 4 of the complex of measures the Rada was to issue a list of district enjoying a special status under the law on Donbas special status. "But the draft resolution has no mention of any settlements endowed with a special status," Pushilin said.
Moreover, he stressed that the Minsk agreements provided for no possibility to amend the law on the special status of Donbas. "Nonetheless, such draft amendments are submitted as a supplement to the draft resolution. These amendments however emasculate the very idea of a special status and postpone it for an indefinite period. We have warned against such attempts before," Pushilin noted.
Moreover, he noted, these amendments "unilaterally set conditions for local elections in Donbas although provision 12 of the complex of measures highlights the necessity of dialogue to agree such issues with the DRP and LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) representatives."
"We once again call on the leaders of Germany, France and Russia to compel the Kiev authorities to embark on a path of honest work towards political settlement and an end to the civil war," Pushilin said.
Earlier on Monday, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill on amending article 10 of the law on special procedure of self-government in some districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Thus, in line with the amendments the law might come into force only after local elections under Ukrainian constitution and Ukrainian laws.
The Rada is expected to consider this bill at its session on March 17. However in compliance with the complex of measures on the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the Ukrainian parliament was to pass a resolution on Donbass’ special status before March 14.
LPR’s envoy to the Contact Group Vladislav Deinego told TASS on Monday that his republic was against this law. He said these processes should be parallel. "If we don’t solve the disagreements in the humanitarian sphere first, we will have no one to hold elections for," he said. "People will just die by that time. That’s why these things should be parallel."
Marathon talks between the Normandy Four leaders — Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko — in Minsk on February 12 yielded a package of agreements, which in particular envisaged ceasefire between the Ukrainian conflicting sides starting from midnight on February 15.
Concurrently, the Belarusian capital hosted a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine involving Ukraine’s ex-president Leonid Kuchma, Kiev’s special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and OSCE’s envoy Heidi Tagliavini, both acting as mediators.
As a result, a package of measures was adopted to implement the Minsk agreements. Thus, under provision 4 of the Minsk agreements, Kiev agreed that within a 30-day period the Verkhovna Rada would adopt a draft law on a special political and economic status for certain districts in Donbass. The deadline expired on March 14.