Updated 14:58 p.m. Moscow time
DONETSK, September 16 (RIA Novosti) – Leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Tuesday played down the importance of the law granting the self-proclaimed territories a three-year period of special status within Ukraine with wider autonomy.
“Poroshenko should sign it first, it should get published and come into force. Then we will translate it into Russian, study it and give our opinion,” DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko told RIA Novosti.
Zakharchenko’s first deputy Andrei Purgin added that the republic views the bill “only as a point of contact for future dialogue, not as a legislative act.”
“This is nonsense when the Rada of Ukraine passes bills not for Ukraine, but for Donbas. We have our own parliament for this purpose,” he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved a law submitted by President Petro Poroshenko to introduce self-administration in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The bill states that local elections are to take place in the regions on December 7 and also guarantees the right to use Russian or any other language in Ukraine.
The law is a part of a 12-point peace plan, signed by Kiev officials and representatives of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR) in southeastern Ukraine during the Trilateral Contact Group meeting in Minsk on September 5. The sides also agreed on a ceasefire that came into force the same day, but numerous reports said that both sides have fired weapons since then.
The status of Ukraine’s eastern regions remains a stumbling block to settlement of the country’s crisis. DPR and LPR leaders said they lay claim to the whole territory within the borders of the respective administrative entities in Ukraine. Kiev, however, said it was ready to grant special status only to areas currently controlled by independence supporters. The DPR and LPR also said they want full independence and will not agree to any status that sees them as part of Ukraine.