Zelensky enacts law on extension of Donbas special status
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has enacted law 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 document was signed on December 18, according to the parliament's website.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on September 16, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, 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 temporary special order of the local government is introduced for three years, and "the state guarantees, in accordance with the law, the prevention of criminal prosecution and punishment of persons participating in events in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions."
According to the law, in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions it is envisaged that the relevant territorial communities will directly and through local authorities will implement self-government with the compliance with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, as well as the introduction by the laws of Ukraine of a special procedure for the appointment of heads of prosecution bodies and courts, which provides for the participation of local authorities in the decision of these issues.
The document stipulates that the state guarantees the right to use Russian or another language "in public and private life, the study and support of Russian and any other languages, their free development and equality."
According to the law, the state provides support to the socio-economic development of certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The law foresees that "city, town, village councils created from among citizens of Ukraine who permanently reside in the relevant settlements may decide to create voluntary police units, which are entrusted to maintain public order in the settlements of certain regions and which implement the powers provided for by the laws of Ukraine, as well as to coordinate the activities of such units for the protection of public order in the settlements of certain districts with the corresponding rural, town, or city head, etc."
On December 12, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada passed the relevant bill in the first reading and in general to extend the special status for another year, until December 31, 2020.