Ukraine peace deal in deadlock, claim Russia and separatists
by Daily Sabah
IstanbulMar 18, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 18, 2015 12:00 am
Kiev backs its drafted law on separatist autonomy, saying that it is in line with the peace deal, while Russia and pro-Russian rebels condemn Kiev for violating peace the deal and putting the crisis into a deadlock
Following Ukrainian law on separatist autonomy, separatists and Russia have claimed that the latest Kiev move is a violation of the peace deal. The Ukrainian parliament approved the bill on special status in some parts of eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, in accordance with the Minsk agreement signed on Feb. 12. However, the special status law was rejected by the Russian-backed separatists, threatening Ukraine with abandoning the cease-fire and resuming hostilities in the east of the country. Russia also warned Ukraine of a possible deadlock.
The Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine parliament), passing a law granting the self-rule to the rebel-held region, would be able to apply special administrative policies to the rebel-controlled parts of the country. The special status law will come into effect after the local elections take place, under the supervision of international observation. However, no additional detail has been provided to specify which regions the special status would be valid for.
Considering changes to a previous law granting rebel-held regions self-rule, separatists' leaders in eastern Ukraine said they will not compromise with Kiev until the law on special status is canceled.
"Denying a special status to Donbass, Kiev has trampled on the fragile Minsk peace and brought the situation to a deadlock … DPR and LPR declare that no compromise with Kiev is possible until [Tuesday]'s disgraceful decisions of Poroshenko and the Verkhovna Rada are canceled," says the statement posted on the website of the Luhansk information center, according to Russian state run Itar-Tass news agency.
The self-proclaimed people's republics in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been seeking independence since they declared their autonomy in May 2014, but the Ukrainian government has ruled out granting independence to the mainly Russian-speaking region.
President Petro Poroshenko had rejected any possible federalization or secession of Ukrainian land, as the Sept. 19 Minsk Memorandum on the status of eastern Ukraine promises, only granting "special status." The law granting special status for some parts of rebel-held Luhansk and Donetsk regions was submitted to the Supreme Council of Ukraine, paving the way for power decentralization in the war-torn country. However, in response to the Kiev government, Donetsk rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko had earlier rejected the special status law while insisting on receiving much bigger territories.
During the one-year conflict, previous peace talks had not produced a breakthrough on issues relating to the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine. More than 6,000 people have been killed during heavy clashes between armed groups. According to the U.N., the death toll has sharply increased as more than two million Ukrainians were forcibly displaced due to worsening humanitarian conditions in rebel-held areas, where heavy fighting has turned the cities into battle zones.