The bill on “reintegration of Donbass” now includes Crimea


November 15 , 2017 – Fort Russ News – 
RIA News – translated by Inessa Sinchougova

KIEV, Ukraine. The Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense has now included the issue of “the return of the Crimea” in the bill on the reintegration of Donbass. 

“The president’s law was filed with a specific purpose – to liberate the temporarily occupied territories of Donbass with the use of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, to create an operational headquarters, etc. But politically we can not forget about the Crimea and Sevastopol, therefore they have been added,” said the chairman of the committee, Sergey Pashinsky.

The Committee also approved the final title of the document: “Law on state policy of ensuring Ukraine’s state sovereignty in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions.”

The draft law, in particular, stipulates that Kiev does not recognize any documents issued in the territories of the Donbass and in the Crimea, including certificates of birth and death.

If adopted after the second reading, the president will have the right to use the Armed Forces in peacetime, within the country, to ensure state sovereignty. This will legitimize the use of the army in the Donbass without declaring war. In addition, the bill defines Russia as an “aggressor country”.

The Rada may approve the bill in early December. 

It was decided not to include the amendment on a break of diplomatic relations with Russia in the draft law, as was suggested earlier. “This issue belongs to the competence of the executive branch, namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, therefore, the amendment was dropped.”

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As a reminder, the Crimea became a Russian region following the results of the referendum held after the coup in Ukraine. 96.77% of the voters of the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% of Sevastopol voted for reunification with Russia. Ukraine still regards the peninsula as its own, but temporarily occupied territory. The leadership of Russia has repeatedly stated that Crimeans made a choice in a democratic way and in full accordance with international law and the UN Charter. According to President Vladimir Putin, the issue of Crimea is “closed for debate completely.”

Inessa Sinchougova is an Editor and Journalist at Fort Russ News, as well as a research fellow and translator of the Belgrade based think-tank, the Center for Syncretic Studies. She was educated at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), in the field of Political Science and was previously employed in Marketing and Communications Strategy for a Multi-National Corporation. She runs a popular YouTube channel for translations of key Russian Foreign Policy figures and appears regularly on other alternative media channels.  

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