May, 26

Rada passes bill on Donbass reintegration, which recognizes Russia as aggressor state

01/18/2018 01:08:58 pm
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The Verkhovna Rada adopted as a whole bill No. 7163 on the state policy aiming to secure sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and the Luhansk oblasts. A total of 280 MPs voted for it at a session on Thursday, OstroV’s correspondent reports. The Opposition Block faction was the only one which gave zero votes.

The document defines the territories in the Donetsk and the Luhansk oblasts, where the Russian armed forces and the occupation administration have established and are exercising the occupation authority and general control of Russia, as temporarily occupied. The antiterrorist operation is called "measures to ensure national security and defence, contain and repel Russian armed aggression in the Donetsk and the Luhansk oblasts".

The Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is also being created, which will direct the forces and assets of the Armed Forces and other military entities, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the National Police involved in the process of "restraining military aggression" in the Donbass.

According to the law, responsibility for financial or moral damage done to Ukraine as a result of Russian aggression is placed on Russia in accordance with generally accepted principles and norms of international law.

In addition, MPs established that persons involved in Russia's armed aggression or involved in the Russian occupation administration are held criminally liable for violating Ukrainian legislation and norms of international humanitarian law.

The entry of persons and the transfer of goods to/from the temporarily occupied territories of the Donbass is determined by the Cabinet and carried out through checkpoints of entry-exit.

Judicial fees are abolished for Ukrainians, who appeal to the courts against the aggressor state.

Ukrainian citizens retain their right of ownership in the occupied territory of the Donbass.

All acts issued by the Russian Federation's occupation administration are recognized as invalid and do not create legal consequences other than documents on the birth or death of a person in the temporarily occupied territory of the Donbass.

The bill was considered in the Verkhovna Rada from the beginning of October 2017, when it was adopted in the first reading. In the second reading, 673 amendments were included, which people's deputies discussed on Tuesday, January 16. Most of the amendments concerned the inclusion of the Crimea into the text of the draft law, the date of the beginning of the occupation of Donbass and termination of trade with the occupied territories, but they were not taken into account.