Iryna Gerashchenko: There is no special status for Donbas, the law sets a special order for local self-governance in separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions

Iryna Gerashchenko: There is no special status for Donbas, the law sets a special order for local self-governance in separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions
September 17, 2014.

Kyiv, 17 September 2014 – At a briefing in the Ukraine Crisis Media Center Iryna Gerashchenko, MP, President’s envoy for conflict settlement in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, when commenting on the law “On special status for local self-governance in separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions” and the law on amnesty adopted yesterday by Ukraine’s Parliament stated: “There is no law on Donbas special status, as even in the name of the adopted document special order for local self-governance in separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is reflected. The law just fixes the complicated today’s reality. The documents stipulate that Ukrainian authorities grant special possibilities for local self-governance in the districts that are currently under militants’ control in order to resolve the actual situation in a non-military way”.

Mrs. Gerashchenko also noted that the law “On special status for local self-governance in separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions” was adopted along with the amnesty law. Subject to amnesty will be only those persons who will lay down their arms in time and have not committed grave crimes against humanity. The Article 5 of the law in question establishes the list of crimes, those who committed them are not subject to release from liability according to the amnesty law. “No bandit, killer, looter, rapist, whoever involved with torturing of Ukrainians, whoever downed Boeing is not subject to this law. Everyone who has committed grave crimes will be held liable according to the Ukrainian legislation. And I hope some cases will be considered by the European Court of Human Rights,” she commented.

At the same time Iryna Gerashchenko underlined that the laws on Donbas voted in yesterday need to be considered together with voting on ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. “Association Agreement ratification has become not only Ukraine’s historic choice and our geopolitical victory,“ said Mrs. Gerashchenko. “It became Moscow’s biggest geopolitical defeat. Yesterday we proved to the whole world that Ukraine is going to define its foreign policy on its own. And this policy is towards European integration and remains unchanged”.

The Agreement comes into force on 1 November 2014. According to Mrs. Gerashchenko the economic part of the agreement is already working, namely free of duty export of Ukrainian goods to European markets. Due to this fact within the last year export of Ukrainian goods to EU member states increased by 15% while due to the EU unprecedented decision valid until 2016 European producers will supply goods to the Ukrainian market while paying customs duty. “The European Union granted an opportunity to earn EUR 300-500 mln a month for Ukrainian budget according to experts’ estimation,” commented Iryna Gerashchenko.

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