Cabinet members, MPs to prepare law on special procedure for local self-government in ORDLO – Prystaiko
Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko has said that representatives of the Ukrainian government involved in the negotiation process to resolve the situation in Donbas will begin work with deputies of the Verkhovna Rada to prepare for voting on the law on the peculiarities of local self-government in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
"There are a lot of details in this law on necessary compromises we need to make on both sides in order for peace to finally come to our land. It will be difficult work. I can't say in what form it will be, whether changes will be made to the existing [law], in the end, it is our deputies who are to vote," he said at a briefing on the sidelines of the 16th annual meeting of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) in Kyiv on Saturday.
According to him, some of the members of the Ukrainian government involved in the negotiation process on Donbas are starting a dialogue with the deputy corps on this issue.
In turn, Special representative of the U.S. State Department on Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker emphasized that taking the necessary legislative initiatives in accordance with the Minsk agreements, Ukraine thereby emphasizes that Russia must fulfill its part of the obligations.
The law on the special procedure of local self-government in the ORDLO was adopted in September 2014 and entered into force on October 18, 2014 for a period of three years. The document provides that the special procedure for local self-government in certain areas of Donbas enters into force only "after all the conditions set forth in article 10 of the law are met, in particular with regard to the withdrawal of all illegal armed groups, their military equipment, as well as militants and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine."
On October 6, 2017, the Verkhovna Rada of the VIII convocation extended the validity of this law for a year, which was to lose force on October 18, 2018.
In the summer and autumn of 2018, the U.S. Department of State Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said that Kyiv would be in a disadvantageous situation if it did not extend the law on the special status of Donbas. They also called on Kyiv to extend the operation of this law in the diplomatic mission of the European Union to Ukraine and the U.S. Embassy.
On September 14, 2018, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin expressed conviction that the extension of the law on the peculiarities of local self-government in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is important in order to counter the provocations of the Russian Federation on the lifting of sanctions. A few days later, the minister also noted that the prolongation of the law is possible if there is progress in the issue of the release of political prisoners and hostages.
On October 1, Iryna Gerashchenko, the First Deputy Chairman of the VIII Convocation Verkhovna Rada, said that further sanctions against the Russian Federation depend on the prolongation of the law on a special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO.
On October 4, the Verkhovna Rada supported the presidential legislative initiative, which will introduce a special procedure for local self-government in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (ORDLO) from the date the relevant law comes into force for a period until December 31, 2019.