Updated 07:51 a.m. Moscow time.
MINSK, September 20 (RIA Novosti) – Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko has announced that the law on special status of the self-proclaimed republics means recognition by Ukrainian authorities of their independence.
"The law on special status is already the recognition of our independence," Zakharchenko stressed, following the meeting of the so-called Contact Group on Ukraine in the Belarussian capital Minsk earlier on Friday.
On Tuesday, Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved a law on special status of Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics, submitted earlier by President Petro Poroshenko. The law among other things states that local elections are to be held in the regions on December 7.
Zakharchenko, however, said on Saturday that no elections, announced previously by the Ukrainian authorities, would be held on the DPR territory.
Kiev authorities and independence supporters are conducting talks in the capital of Belarus, Minsk, through the mediation of Russia and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The parties aligned positions on a ceasefire and a number of issues concerning the status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions (Minsk Protocol) on September 5.
Further to the Minsk Protocol, Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved a law on special status of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on September 16. The law introduces self-administration, states that local elections are to take place in the regions on December 7, and guarantees the right to use Russian or any other language in Ukraine.
Early Saturday morning parties formulated a memorandum of nine provisions that will regulate the implementation of a ceasefire agreement between Kiev and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine.