President of Ukraine obtains full control of military – no parliamentary consent needed


January 18, 2018 – FRN – 
Vesti – translated by Inessa Sinchougova 

The Verkhovna Rada has adopted the law on the reintegration of the Donbass in the final reading. In particular, it allows the Ukrainian president, without agreement with the parliament, to use the army against the self-proclaimed republics. The document does not mention Minsk agreements at all. Now the law must be signed by Peter Poroshenko .

Officially, the law No. 7163, which the Verkhovna Rada considered for three consecutive days, is intended for “the peculiarities of the state policy on ensuring Ukraine’s state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Lugansk regions.”

Unofficially, it is a law for forced reintegration, that is, the unification of the Donbass. Despite the promising title, the language in the document, to put it mildly, is undiplomatic. Russia, for example, is an “aggressor” state. And those who disagree with the politics of Kiev in the south-east of the country are recognized as “traitors to their homeland” – 280 deputies voted in favor of the bill out of 450.

“We will continue to pave the way for the reintegration of the occupied Ukrainian lands by political and diplomatic means, this is the key signal of the law, which the Verkhovna Rada adopted today on my initiative. This is a signal for the Donbass and the Crimea: you are an integral part of Ukraine, ” said Poroshenko.

“This bill contradicts all international agreements reached by our country on the path to a diplomatic settlement of the conflict and the restoration of the territorial integrity of the country. And most importantly, the law does not decide how exactly to restore and return the territory and people. Therefore, our faction voted against it.”- explained the the “Opposition block”faction in the Ukrainian parliament, MP Yuri Boyko.

In Moscow, of course, they hoped for a new “roadmap” for settling the situation in the Donbass, but they were not surprised when Kiev instead tried again to dump everything on Russia.

“Such a rude, boorish attitude towards a brotherly people, towards our country, accusations of non-existent sins – they call us aggressors, occupiers, they say that there are some virtual armed forces of Russia on the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is an attempt to shift blame of the perpetrators of the catastrophe, which occurred in Ukraine during the coup d’état,” explained Federation Council Chairman Valentina Matvienko.

In the first reading the draft law still had a paragraph on the priority significance of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, by the third reading – they were not mentioned at all.

“When the Minsk agreement was signed, the signatories said that they were for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. What additional laws are needed? The Minsk agreement must be implemented and Ukraine’s sovereignty will be restored throughout its territory. Representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk signed this,” – said Boris Gryzlov, the plenipotentiary representative of Russia in the Contact Group for the settlement of the situation in Ukraine.

According to the new law, the president has the right to use the army in the Donbass without seeking permission of parliament and without declaring war.

“This will open a Pandora’s box and witch hunt inside Ukraine. As for the settlement prospects, they naturally get worse, as the law contradicts the spirit of the Minsk agreements”, – commented Ukrainian political analyst Mikhail Pogrebinsky.

“For the residents of the Lugansk and Donetsk republics, and for the residents of Ukraine, we found nothing positive.” This law actually legitimises the criminal acts committed by Ukrainian armed forces. Accordingly, if their hands are untied, then at any moment the situation may worsen,” stressed the plenipotentiary of the DPR Contact Group Denis Pushilin.

Now the president must sign the law. The fact that Poroshenko will do it with joy, experts do not doubt. After all, even if under the pressure of the opposition, he has full power of the military. This will be his “trump card” in order to maintain his post.

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