Ukrainian Rada passes territorial integrity bill

  • Mihai Turcanu
  • 20.1.2018 12:05

On 18 January, Ukraine's parliament approved Bill No. 7163 reaffirming its sovereignty over the Russian occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Its backers claim the legislation will pave the way for the restoration of Ukrainian control over these territories, while the Opposition Bloc faction - dominated by former Party of Regions representatives – chose not to vote.

The draft law stipulates that Russia is waging an undercover and undeclared war against Ukraine and that it has temporarily occupied, in violation of international law, a part of its territory, for which reason the adopted legislation sanctions the current blockade on trade and transport of the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Furthermore, the bill envisages the reorganisation of Ukrainian forces by creating a Joint Operation Headquarters of the Armed Forces for centralised strategic control over all law enforcement personnel in frontline operations. The bill, which the Russian MFA described as a "preparation for a new war", does not mention the Minsk Accords, likely due to them being widely viewed by Ukrainian politicians as controversial. The bill's adoption indicates that Ukraine is advancing to consolidate its national identity, a process which has sharply accelerated since 2014 as a result of the Russian military aggression.

 

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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