Donetsk, Jul 25 – DAN. Donetsk shall take decision concerning elections of the Head and the People's Council deputies on its own, said DPR envoy to the Minsk negotiations Denis Pushilin.

"The Republics and the Contact Group have lately been coming under pressure in connection with the upcoming elections of the heads and parliament members. I officially announce that we are not paying attention to provocations and pressure. The preparations, time limits and details of the election are subject to our decision."

Pushilin said that power belongs to the DPR people and free election is its ultimate manifestation. "these principles are cemented by the DPR Constitution and must be implemented. Donbass people shall decide when and how to hold elections and who is going to represent its interest at the top level."

He added that Ukraine must "become concerned with permanent codification of the Donbass special status. We reminded the Ukrainian side about it today."

The key document in the crisis settlement, the law on Donbass special status was endorsed by Ukrainain Parliament in October 2014 and expired three years later. In 2017 Rada adopted the law on creating the necessary conditions for a peace settlement, extending special status for a year. It amended the initial law including a provision that the special status might come into force only after Kiev regains control over the Donbass territory.

The new law obliterated all previous efforts aimed at the peaceful settlement including those of the Contact Group and the Normandy Four, where the Steinmeier Formula concerning the special status enforcement mechanism is being discussed.

Moreover, the new law includes a provision for creating necessary conditions for a UN peacekeeping mission deployment to Donbass.

The Minsk Agreements provide for a local election in Donbass (Article 12), no provisions covering head and parliamentary elections are included in the document.

The head elections took place in the DPR and LPR in the autumn 2014. Their term of office is four years.*ot