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Volker praised Ukraine for extending special status of Donbas

The ball is now in Russia's court, the diplomat said.

Volker praised Ukraine for extending special status of Donbas
Photo: Photo: Arizona PBS

US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker hailed Ukraine's extension for one year of a special order of local government in Donbas.

"Special status extension shows Ukraine is taking tough steps for peace. Hope Russia now acts to make peace - time to end conflict," the diplomat wrote on Twitter.

Ukraine in the autumn of 2014 adopted a law on the special order of the local government in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but amended it in the spring of 2015, saying that the law provides that the provisions on the special status will come into force after the holding of democratic elections in the Russia-occupied territories and the pullout of mercenaries.

The validity of the law was limited to three years. This term expired on October 18, but the Rada on Friday extended the law for a year.