Ukraine postpones granting ‘special status’ to rebel-held regions
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed an amendment to the law governing the “special status” Luhansk and Donetsk regions, the separatist-controlled territories in the east of the country.
According to the amendments, “special status” will be granted to the regions only after early elections in accordance with Ukrainian law are held there.
“Special status” would allow for these regions to remain a part of Ukraine, but exercise limited self-rule. According to the amendments, local governing bodies, the members of which would be elected in the vote, would oversee governance in accordance with the “special status” of the regions.
We also separately stress the need for the withdrawal of all illegal paramilitary groups, their military equipment, their militants and contractors from the territory of Ukraine, and their illegal interference in the election process must be prohibited.
On February 12, the heads of Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany reached an agreement reinstating a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. The agreement included a provision for Ukraine to grant “special status” to the two separatist-controlled territories.
On March 17, the Ukrainian parliament passed a ruling allowing to postpone the granting of “special status” to separatist regions until after elections.
Representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics have claimed that the law constitutes an attempt to destroy the “fragile peace” of the Minsk agreement.