Poroshenko signs bill extending special status of Donbass for 1 year

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a bill extending the special status of Donbass region in eastern Ukraine for a year, the presidential press service said in a statement Saturday.

“President Petro Poroshenko signed the bill on the creation of the necessary conditions for the peaceful settlement of the situation in the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions approved by the Verkhovna Rada on October 6,” the statement read.

On Friday, the Ukrainian parliament approved the extension of Donbass’ special status by a year, proposed by Poroshenko. The parliament also approved the bill on reintegration of the region.

In 2014, within the framework of the Minsk peace accords, Ukraine pledged to provide certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions with a special status. The law was adopted, but not enforced. According to the law, certain areas of Donbass currently not controlled by Kiev would only receive special status after local elections held under Ukrainian legislation and under control of international observers. Such elections were not held, therefore the special status did not come into effect.

The law, adopted for a three-year period, was due to expire on October 18.