Ukraine parliament to grant special status on occupied eastern regions

imgUkraine’s parliament approved Tuesday a draft law to grant special status to the eastern regions of the country, which are controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
Submitted by President Petro Poroshenko as part of the cease-fire agreement reached in the Belarus capital of Minsk in February, the bill establishes the boundaries of rebel-held areas that could be given special status with limited self-rule.
The bill, which was passed by 265 votes in the 450-seat parliament, also defines the rebel-held areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions as temporarily invaded regions, which will be granted special status following regional elections under Ukrainian law.
The parliament also approved Poroshenko’s appeal to the U.N. Security Council to support the deployment of a peacekeeping mission to eastern Ukraine, where the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists has left more than 6,000 people dead since April 2014, according to the UN.

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