Kiev’s New “Reintegration of Donbass” Bill Spits on the Minsk Agreements, Freezes the Law on Special Status

Translated by Ollie Richardson


On the website of the Verkhovna Rada the text of the law on Donbass prepared by the administration of Petro Poroshenko, which as Kiev earlier affirmed, was agreed with “western partners”, was published on October 4th. The document flagrantly contradicts the Minsk Agreements, announces Donetsk and Lugansk as territories “occupied” by Russia, and grants to Poroshenko the right to impose martial law without coordination with Deputies.

The main point in the bill is the definition of the Russian Federation as the aggressor-country and the occupier of the territories of the DPR and LPR.

The territories of the Republics are recognized as occupied, it is affirmed that the authorities in these territories is installed by and is subordinated to Russia. All regulations and laws of the Republics, as well as the authorities, are declared as illegitimate.

Already this contradicts the Minsk Agreements, in which the parties to the conflict are clearly stated, and where Russia isn’t an aggressor or an occupier. Moreover, the Minsk Agreements stipulate that Kiev must conduct negotiations with the LDPR and come to an agreement with them on the text of the laws on the settlement of the crisis.

For the ordinary residents of Donetsk and Lugansk it follows from Poroshenko’s law that, for example, all contracts for the purchase and sale of real estate are invalid from the point of view of Kiev – i.e. after the seizure of the territories of the Republic by the “liberators” it is possible to easily lose housing.

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In the draft law Ukraine’s aim is to seize the LDPR  – complete liberation of the “occupied territories” and to return control over the uncontrolled part of the Russian border.

All negotiations for a settlement of the conflict, it is said in the bill, are possible only after a withdrawal of Ukrainian troops to the border with Russia.

Instead of “ATO” the term “ensuring national security and defense, deterrence and repulsion of aggression against Ukraine” is introduced.

To ensure the involvement of: the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military formations (Security Service of Ukraine, Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, State Special Communications Service of Ukraine, National Guard of Ukraine, State Border Guard Service of Ukraine,  Department of the State Guard of Ukraine, State Transport Special Service), Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, National Police of Ukraine. All these security agencies fall under the jurisdiction of the Joint Operational HQ of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Also the headquarters of the UAF have the right to define by itself the borders of the conflict zone. Inside these borders the President of Ukraine is granted the right to introduce martial law without coordination with the Verkhovna Rada.

In addition, Petro Poroshenko will submit for the consideration of the Verkhovna Rada two bills concerning Donbass, including one about freezing for a year the law on the special status of the region, reported the online publication “Ukrainian Pravda” with reference to its sources in the Presidential Administration.

According to the Minsk Agreements, Kiev has undertaken to provide special status to certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. The relevant law was adopted in 2014, however it wasn’t implemented. In the law it is stated that the regions of Donbass uncontrolled by Kiev will be allocated special status only after carrying out local elections under the laws of Ukraine and under the control of international observers. However, no elections have taken place, and special status for the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR remain only on paper. The three-year period of validity of the law expires soon.

“There will be two bills. One is about the reintegration of Donbass. The second is about freezing for a year the law on features of local governance in Donbass,” quotes the publication from the words of the interlocutor. According to him, the adoption of the law on reintegration and at the same time the extension of the law on the special order of local governance in Donbass “will allow to conduct further diplomatic negotiations”.

Ukrainian Pravda also reached out to the First Deputy Chairwoman of the Verkhovna Rada Irina Gerashenko to confirm or deny this information, however she refrained from commenting, promising to speak after the introduction of the laws.

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