Ukraine's parliament extends for 12 months special status of Donbas
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has passed in the first reading and in general bill No. 2569 on amendments to Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine on the special order of local self-government in certain districts in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The relevant decision was backed by 320 MPs registered in the session hall, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
The Holos and Batkivshchyna factions have opposed the bill.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on September 16, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada passed the bill on the special order of local self-government in certain districts in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which was submitted by the then President Petro Poroshenko.
The law was supposed to be in effect for three years. Then it was extended.
According to the law, a special order of local self-government is temporarily introduced for three years, and "the state guarantees in accordance with the law to prevent criminal prosecution, to bring to criminal, administrative responsibility and punishment the persons who took part in the events in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions."
According to the law, it is envisaged in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions that the relevant territorial communities will directly and through local authorities of local self-government, in compliance with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, as well as through the introduction of laws, shall implement a special procedure for the appointment of heads of prosecutors' offices and courts, which provides for the participation of local governments in addressing said issues.
At the same time, the document stipulates that the government guarantees the right to use Russian or any other language "in public and private life," as well as the learning of and support for Russian and any other languages, their free development and equality."
According to the law, the government shall also provide support for the socio-economic development of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The law provides for "the possibility of creating by decisions of city, town, and village councils from among citizens of Ukraine who permanently reside in the respective settlements "people's police" units. Its members shall operate on a voluntary basis and be entrusted with the task of protecting public order in the settlements of certain areas of Donbas, exercising the powers stipulated by law.