18 Oct 2017 20:07

Kyiv's enactment of law extending Donbas special status by a year still makes it possible to maintain dialogue in Minsk format - Gryzlov

MINSK. Oct 18 (Interfax) - Work in the Minsk format will continue, though the extension of the Donbas' special status by only one year is a half-measure, the Russian special envoy to the Contract Group on Ukraine, Boris Gryzlov, said.

"As of today, the special status of local self-government for certain areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions has been extended by only a year. Sure, this is better than nothing. I will remind you that under the Minsk Agreements endorsed by a UN resolution, a law on Donbas' special status should contain a clause on its taking effect on a permanent basis following elections in the territory of DPR and LPR," Gryzlov told reporters on Wednesday following a meeting of the contact group. However, there is no such clause in the new Ukrainian legislation, he said.

"However, this half-measure made it possible to retain Kyiv in the Minsk process and continue a dialogue aimed at a political, peaceful settlement of the conflict," Gryzlov said.

The disengagement of forces and hardware in certain sectors, including in a sector in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska, "a decision on which has been repeatedly disrupted by the Ukrainian side," was discussed at the TCG meeting on Wednesday, he said.

"Donbas representatives addressed the issue of obligations unfulfilled by the Ukrainian side [related to] the publication of orders on disciplinary liability for ceasefire breaches," Gryzlov also said.