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Poroshenko: Boundaries of Ukraine’s Special Status Areas to Run Along Engagement Line

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The line of engagement between Ukrainian troops and militia forces in eastern Ukraine will mark off the boundaries of the special status areas, which will be determined by the country’s parliament, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said late on Saturday.

KIEV, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - The line of engagement between Ukrainian troops and militia forces in eastern Ukraine will mark off the boundaries of the special status areas, which will be determined by the country’s parliament, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said late on Saturday.

“The law I signed yesterday clearly states that the demarcation line, the line of contact is to be established by a parliamentary decision,” the president said in an interview with several local TV channels.

On September 16, the Verkhovna Rada, which is the country’s parliament, approved a law on self-administration in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, also known as Donbas. The same day it was signed by the Ukrainian president.

The law, which came into effect earlier on Saturday, granted Donbas a special status, guaranteed the right to use Russian or any other language and scheduled local elections for December 7. The legislation also said that the full list of special status areas would be drawn up by the Verkhovna Rada.

The demarcation line was drawn in early September during a multilateral meeting between eastern Ukrainian militias, Kiev, Moscow and the OSCE security organization. The parties agreed to pull heavy weaponry 15 kilometers (nine miles) either side from the line of engagement, creating a 30 kilometer buffer zone.

Poroshenko told journalists that the de facto line of contact benefited independence supporters in the east and would be revised by the parliament.

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