President initiates cancellation of special status for Donbas, prepares new law

President initiates cancellation of special status for Donbas, prepares new law

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Ukrinform
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on Tuesday, will propose cancelling the law on a special status for certain districts in Donbas, according to a presidential address posted on the website of the head of state on Monday.

KYIV, November 4 /Ukrinform/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on Tuesday, will propose cancelling the law on a special status for certain districts in Donbas, according to a presidential address posted on the website of the head of state on Monday.

"One of the issues that I will submit for consideration by the NSDC is the cancelation of the law on the peculiarities of local government in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In due time, this law performed an extremely important role in stopping foreign invasion, mobilizing the world's support of the Minsk peace agreements, and the sincerity of Ukraine's intentions to de-escalate the situation in Donbas," Poroshenko said.

According to the president, "we have demonstrated to the residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as to the whole world, that Kyiv is sincere in its desire for the political settlement. Militants have rejected this opportunity."

"The holding of pseudo-elections has undermined the law and aggravated the situation in Donbas. We are ready to provide broad powers stipulated by the law only to legally elected local government agencies, not to the bandits who coronate themselves," Poroshenko said.

He said that decentralization remained in Ukraine's arsenal as a key element of political settlement in Donbas: "We will be willing to approve a new law if all the parties return to the fulfillment of the Minsk protocol, namely a ceasefire, the creation of a buffer zone, border control and militants' clear actions that imply the reverse in the so-called elections of November 2."

"The new law will provide for clear boundaries of districts with a special local government order, in clear conformity with the Minsk agreements. It will also provide for budgetary decentralization that will eliminate the irritating question 'who feeds whom.' It will let these districts be responsible for their self-funding on the basis of their own resources," he said.

Poroshenko said that an international fund, to be filled by foreign partners, "will fully ensure the restoration of infrastructure on the condition of Ukrainian authority, peace and security in Donbas."

"Eventually I will propose that the parliament adopt a law on the creation of a free economic area in Donbas, with a special regime of trade relations with the EU and Russia," he added.

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