MOSCOW–No compromise with Kiev is possible until the “disgraceful decisions” made by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the country’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on the special status of Donbas (eastern regions of Ukraine) are canceled, the heads of the Donetsk and Luhansk self-proclaimed republic (DPR and LPR) Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
“Denying a special status to Donbas, Kiev has trampled upon the fragile Minsk peace and brought the situation to a deadlock. Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk have cynically laughed at their European Union partners who have spent so much effort on negotiations. DPR and LPR declare that no compromise with Kiev is possible until yesterday’s disgraceful decisions of Poroshenko and the Verkhovna Rada are canceled,” says the statement posted on the website of the Luhansk information center.
The leaders state they think Kiev does not want peace, “seeking instead to destroy Donbas by violence and economic blockade.”
The heads of the self-proclaimed republics expressed dissatisfaction in their statement with the Verkhovna Rada’s amendments to the law on the special status of Donbas, which were adopted on Tuesday [March 17]. According to the statement, the amendments “include only the settlements along the line of contact, and not all the areas, cities, towns, villages, in which a special status should be introduced, as required by Article 1 of the Ukraine’s Law on the Special Status.”
In addition, changes “that have not been agreed upon with DPR and LPR” have been introduced to the law that determine the conditions of holding local elections in Donbas. Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky also expressed indignation at the fact that “the introduction of the special status (regime) in certain districts of Donbas has been postponed indefinitely by Poroshenko’s amendments.” Thus, the statement says, “point 4 of the set of measures [to implement the Minsk peace settlement plan] is grossly violated.”
The Rada’s appeal to the UN Security Council and the Council of the European Union with a request to deploy peacekeepers in Ukraine, according to the statement by the DPR and LPR heads, “is disturbing all the logic of the peace plan.” “It’s another attempt under the disguise of good intentions to withdraw from the Minsk agreements,” the statement says.
Ukrainian lawmakers pass bill on temporary special status of self-governance in Donbas, published in TASS, March 17, 2015
KIEV–The Parliament of Ukraine passed on Tuesday [March 17] a draft law stipulating areas in the country’s south-eastern region of Donbas, which will be enjoying a temporary special status of self-governance. 296 lawmakers from Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada voted in favor of the document. It required 226 votes to pass.
However, the Rada postponed the entry of this law into force until elections are held in Donbas.
Ukraine’s parliament declared the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics “temporarily occupied territories”. A total of 280 Ukrainian lawmakers voted for that decision. [End]