KIEV, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday approved a bill on extending the term of validity of the "special status" law for the conflict-hit eastern region of Donbas to Dec. 31, 2019.
According to a statement on the parliament's website, the bill, which was submitted by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, was passed with 245 votes in favor.
The armed confrontation between the Ukrainian government troops and pro-independence armed groups in the Donbas region has been underway since April 2014, and has so far claimed about 10,000 lives.
In September 2014, the Ukrainian parliament approved the law on the "special status" of some areas in Donbas, increasing the economic, financial and administrative powers of local communities.
The legislation with a validity term of three years was due to expire in October 2017, but it was extended for another 12 months.
Earlier, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Kurt Volker, U.S. envoy on Ukraine's crisis, urged Kiev to extend the term of validity of the "special status" law to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the conflict.