Kiev law on self-rule for east Ukraine 'step in the right direction': Russia

17th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

Moscow on Wednesday praised Kiev's law on self-rule for the war-torn eastern Ukraine as a "step in the right direction" and expressed the hope the rebel-held regions would develop cross-border cooperation with Russia.

"In Russia this document is considered a step in the right direction which corresponds to the spirit of agreements cemented in the Geneva declaration between Russia, Ukraine, the United States and European Union from April 17 of this year, as well as the Berlin declaration from July 2 of this year," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We expect that all stipulations of the law will be implemented in a responsible manner."

Ukraine has drawn up the self-rule legislation as part of a peace plan signed by both Kiev and Moscow that is seen as the most significant push to end the five-month conflict in Ukraine's industrial east.

The Russian foreign ministry praised "the stipulations of the law which will guarantee a right to language self-determination" for residents of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions.

It also said the law would provide an opportunity for residents of in eastern Ukraine to develop "trans-border cooperation aimed at deepening good-neighbour ties with Russia's administrative territories."

"All of this lays the foundation for the launch of a substantial constitutional process in Ukraine including the start of dialogue with a view to facilitating national reconciliation and agreement in the country," the foreign ministry said.

But it also warned that attempts to "undermine (the law) or change its essence will once again push the situation back towards confrontation in the southeast."

© 2014 AFP

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