Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the Law №256-VIII “On amendments to Article 10 of the Ukrainian Law on Special Order of Local Self-Governance in Certain Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions”, Poroshenko's press office reported on March 18.
To note, the amendments imply snap local elections in the areas beyond Ukraine's control under Ukrainian laws in the presence of international observers. The Law on Special Order of Local Self-Governance in Certain Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions (law on the special status of Donbass) will come into effect on the day the local administrations in these areas take office.
Thus, the procedure of amendments to the law on the special status of Donbass is over. In September 2014, the text of the law was agreed on by all the parties to the conflict and the mediators of the Contact Group and the Normandy Four, whereas the amendments to that law have been agreed upon with no one.
EAD has previously reported that the heads of the Donetsk and Luhansk self-proclaimed republics (DPR and LPR) Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky made a joint statement, saying that no compromise with Kiev was possible until the "disgraceful decisions" made by Poroshenko and Rada on the special status of Donbass were canceled.
“By denying a special status to Donbass, Kiev has trampled upon the fragile Minsk peace and brought the situation to a dead-end. Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk have cynically laughed at their EU partners, who exerted so much effort on the peace talks. The DPR and the LPR claim that no compromise with Kyiv is possible until yesterday’s disgraceful decisions of Poroshenko and the Supreme Rada are cancelled,” the statement says.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Kiev's decision on the special status of Donbass rewrites the Minsk agreements, or, plainly speaking, grossly violates them. “It follows from the Supreme Rada’s resolution that the law on the special status will enter into effect only when these territories are managed by people who are acceptable for Kiev. This is an attempt to turn all the understandings upside down.”
In the meantime, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden supports the specified amendments. He had a phone talk with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday night. The White House reports that Vice President Biden welcomes Rada's decision to implement measures concerning the law on conferring special status on certain eastern regions of Ukraine, as required in the Minsk agreements of September 2014 and February 2015.