Poroshenko offers bill on self-governance in Donbass to Verkhovna Rada

Representatives of the Lugansk People's Republic react with "cautious optimism"

On March 14, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko submitted to the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, a bill giving self-government to areas of the Donbass.

The day before, leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk (DNR) and Luhansk (LNR) People's Republics, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, jointly called on French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to put pressure on the Kiev authorities in order to make them honor the Minsk agreements, part of which calls for self-governance for the disputed regions.

"The Verkhovna Rada has not even started to debate a resolution containing a list of districts in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that will enjoy special rights in accordance with Ukraine's law 'On the special status of Donbass,'" Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky said. "The 30 days that were assigned for the implementation of the resolution in accordance with the roadmap approved in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements expire tomorrow, on March 14."

Representatives of the LNR regarded the news of the bill's submission with cautious optimism. "Certainly we welcome this as a step. But the deadline for handling the document expired yesterday. It is good that it was submitted at least today. However, before meaningfully speaking of the bill we must see what is written there, what measures it implies," DNR envoy Vladislav Deinego told Interfax. 

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