President’s draft laws were adopted: What’s to wait?

Verkhovna Rada approved the president’s draft law ‘On creating the necessary conditions for a peaceful settlement of the situation in certain regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions’. No.7164 was supported by 229 MPs.

Moreover, the parliament approved (in the first reading) the presidential bill ‘On the peculiarities of the state policy to ensure the state sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions’ (bill No. 7163 was supported by 233 deputies). has collected the details on the topic:

For what they voted

So, there are two projects No.7163 (draft law on the specifics of the state policy to ensure the state sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions) and No.7164 (draft law on creating the necessary conditions for a peaceful settlement of the situation in certain regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions).

Russia, which ‘organized and supported terrorist activity in Ukraine, carries out armed aggression against Ukraine and temporary occupation of its territories, using regular connections and units of the armed forces and other military formations of the Russian Federation, subordinate and directed by them Russian advisers and instructors, recognized country-aggressor in draft law No.7163 as well as ‘armed gangs and groups, irregular forces and mercenaries, established occupation power of Russian Federation’.

Otherwise, the document introduces the concept of ‘occupation administration of Russian Federation’. There are also a definition of occupied territories: land territories controlled by the Russian Federation and militants, as well as territorial, internal waters and airspace, where Ukraine lost control. The boundaries of the occupied areas are determined by the General HQ of AFU.

We note that Ukraine isn’t responsible for illegal actions of the Russian Federation and its occupation regime in the specified territories.

Military operations to recover the sovereignty of Ukraine are carried out, basing on art. 51 of The Charter of the United Nations. There are no words about the introduction of martial law. The management of all power units in Donbass, involved in the current ATO, is transferred to the Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the term ATO is not mentioned in the bill, now it is called ‘Measures to ensure national security and defense, contain and repel Russian armed aggression’.

The second president’s draft law is No.7164. There are two points, the action of a law ‘On special order of local self-government in NGCA’ is being continued for a year. This is the most sensational law ‘about the special status of Donbass’.

The president submitted the document for consideration by the parliament on October 4, and on October 5, after discussion in the committee, sent to the parliament its updated version.  Now the document states that a special order of local self-government begins to operate in the Donbass only after the withdrawal of all illegal armed formations, military equipment, fighters and mercenaries from the Ukrainian territory.

The fight in the parliament and the appeal of Poroshenko

Laws relating to the status and life of certain regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine weren’t accepted painlessly – the deputies staged a real brawl. The President of Ukraine Peter Poroshenko made a video message to Ukrainians after the fight in parliament, which sparked talks not only in Ukraine, but far away abroad.

‘My head just does not fit what we saw yesterday and today in the Verkhovna Rada. Former partners in the democratic coalition, people who call themselves patriots and even Ukrainian nationalists, broke the ballots … And for what? For the law to recognize Russia as an aggressor, and its troops as occupiers!’, the head of state was indignant, having in the form of people’s deputies from the ‘Samopomich’ faction, emphasized, that ‘some visas under embroideries have kosovorotki and kokoshniki (Russian national clothes – ed.) stick out on their heads.

According to the words of the head of a state, the law on deoccupation and law on the return of Ukrainian sovereignty to Donbass ‘brings the legal field in line with the real state of affairs’.

‘Territories are legally proclaimed temporarily occupied by Russian occupation forces. Russia is qualified by Ukraine as an aggressor country. And for ourselves we fix the right to self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. This further strengthens the legal framework for the use of the Armed Forces and expands their capabilities in the region. This reinforces the arguments in favor of giving Ukraine a defensive weapon’, the President explained.

At the same time Poroshenko noted that ‘although the law regulates the military aspect of our struggle in detail, the key proclaims a peaceful, politico-diplomatic path’ and ‘gives a clear signal to all our compatriots in the territories occupied by Russia: Ukraine will return to us, and you – to Ukraine’.

‘The law will strengthen our position in the struggle to release hostages and in the issue of possible placement in Donbass the UN peacekeepers. Russia as an aggressor-country won’t have any right to participate in this mission, which must be  is deployed throughout the occupied territory – including temporarily uncontrolled by us a section of the Russian-Ukrainian border’, the head of a state emphasizes.

According to his words, during three years no one from negative forecasts was materialized.

‘And then, and now the possibility of fulfilling the law is rigidly conditioned by a number of requirements to Russia as an aggressor and occupier and to its puppet regimes. First of all, the demand for the withdrawal of Russian troops, illegal armed formations, the withdrawal of military equipment from the territory of Ukraine, and the rule on the conformity of political processes with OSCE standards’, the President claimed.

‘But our reputation as a country with responsibility related to the Minsk agreements allows each time to continue sanctions against Russia, the country violating the agreements’, Poroshenko emphasized.

According to Poroshenko’s words, not so long ago he was speaking with vice-speaker of parliament, the special representative in the Minsk group Iryna Gerashchenko, returned from Belarus.

‘Russians didn’t hide their hopes on the fail of voting in Verkhovna Rada. Especially high hopes they had about the rejection of the draft law on the extension of the features of local self-government. This would untie their hands on the line of contact and help to relieve the burden of sanctions. A responsible majority vote will help our army to maintain further defense with a minimum of sacrifices, and diplomats – to increase international pressure on Russia’, Poroshenko explained.

Opinions about laws: pros and cons

It’s noted in the statement of MFA of Germany that extension of the law about ‘special status’ of NGCA of Donbass was hard step, but it demonstrates Ukraine’s adherence to its international commitments and the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

‘A prerequisite for further progress is the steady stabilization of the security situation and a full and prolonged ceasefire’, the staff of MFA of Germany added.

The member of a permanent delegation in PACE, representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup at the Minsk talks on the settlement of the situation in the Donbass, First Vice Speaker of the Parliament Iryna Gerashchenko explained why MPs voted for the law on the peculiarities of local self-government in NGCA.

As Gerashchenko noted in her Facebook this law had been voted down already on September 2014. And changes to it were on March 2015. And a lot of those, who blocked now tribunes, were for this law that times.

‘So, this means that it hadn’t been treason then and now it’s treason, isn’t it? What had happened for these years, if any of apocalyptic predictions wasn’t realized? And what about a fact that ‘Samopomich’ left the coalition and doesn’t spare forces and nerves not to fight for Ukraine, but to fight for power. Key: neither after September 2014, nor after March 2015, this law was voted down and didn’t come into force. Nor people’s militia, which voters are frightened by radicals, goes by Donbass, but Russian and local orcs, armed with Russian defense ministry retail shop. This law is dead and can’t come into force before the execution by the RF of the security block of the Minsk Agreements. And now we voted neither for law, nor for its prolongation, but for the possibility to use, if safety situation change during a year. But this vote gave unconditional trump card to our diplomats to demand further sanctions against the Russian Federation’, Gerashchenko emphasized.

‘The document had been being adopted in a hard days for Ukraine. It was hard and compromised. Not so simple for Ukraine.  Putin does his best to put the opportunity in law from the side of ‘republics’ to block foreign policy of Ukraine, determine our external vector, including blocking our path to the EU and NATO. Take into account, there are forces in EU and NATO, which would gladly welcome such norms. We hit all of this out. No one certain region of Ukraine can’t and won’t determine the foreign policy of a hall state, because it’s an issue of all Ukrainians, but not separate wishes’, she recognized.

What depends the amnesty law, the vice-speaker of parliament noted: ‘We will have to forgive those who were dragged into the information and propaganda campaign and to whom the head was screwed… It will be difficult, but all the post-war countries have passed this way. We forgave the Germans, because not all of them were fascists. We can’t see enemy in every resident of Donbass. But all those, involved to the murders and terrorism, to shooting down of Boeing and to tortures of our hostages, to rapes – will be in jail. These crimes don’t fall under the amnesty and are the crimes against humanity that don’t have a limitation period’.

233 MPs on Friday, October 6 have supported the draft law on Donbass reintegration, which the President introduced to Rada on October 5. It extends the law on special order of local self-government on the occupied areas of Donbass and takes off reminds about ‘Minsk agreements’.

MPs have different opinions about this law.

‘There are a lot of talks about Minsk negotiations. Offer the other format, in which Russia left its fingers and it could be held to account. If we don’t adopt this law, we won’t have any leverages to liberate our hostages, the OSCE mission will withdraw from this process’, the President representative Iryna Lutsenko is convinced.

‘Non-admission of criminal prosecution, criminal responsibility of all participants of events in Luhansk and Donetsk. That’s what you vote for’, the deputy head of ‘Batkivshchyna’ (Fatherland) Sergei Sobolev supposes.

The NSDC head Alexander Turchynov has his own opinion: ‘Why it became actual only now & Because Putin wants to hide his aggression with the peacekeeping operation and to give to aggressor peacekeeping helmets and the country-aggressor, which will be determined by the aggressor, won’t be able to take part in peacekeeping activities’.

But Russian authorities critically apprehended the law ‘On the peculiarities of state policy to ensure the state sovereignty of Ukraine over temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions’.

The press secretary of RF president Dmitry Peskov has claimed that in general the law contradicts to Minsk agreements.  

‘There are the points, in which RF called an aggressor. Also there is no mentioning of Minsk agreements. From the juridical point of view, of course, such a formulation can neither be de jure nor de facto acceptable, it is unacceptable, but from a legal point of view, of course, this contradicts both the letter and the spirit of the Minsk accords’, Peskov claimed.

At the same time he called the draft law on extension of a special status of Donbass is very important, explained: ‘It’s important draft law, because the end of a term of preliminary law on the special status concerned everyone’.


Prepared by Marina Kuraptseva for

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