Update 7:14 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia views the recent Ukrainian law on special status of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk region as a step in the right direction, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
"This document is regarded by Russia as a step in the right direction and in line with the agreements outlined in the Geneva joint statement by Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the EU on April 17, as well as in the Berlin declaration of July 2," the ministry said in a statement.
"It creates a foundation for the launch of a comprehensive constitutional process in Ukraine, including the start of a dialogue aimed at facilitating the national reconciliation in that country," the statement said.
The ministry also expressed hope that all the provisions of the law would be strictly implemented by Kiev authorities in order to avoid a return to confrontation and violence in eastern Ukraine.
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 also 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 same day, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) told RIA Novosti that they view the bill "only as a point of contact for future dialogue, not as a legislative act," adding that it will not change DPR's independence aspirations.
The status of Ukraine's eastern regions remains a stumbling block to settlement of the country's crisis.