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Kremlin comments on Donbass reintegration law

February 21, 16:27 UTC+3

The Donbass reintegration bill labels the areas not controlled by Kiev as "temporarily occupied" and empowers the president with the right to use armed forces inside the country

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© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. The Donbass reintegration law, signed by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, will contribute little to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"The law, recently signed by the [Ukrainian] president, can unfortunately contribute little to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, to say the least. Moreover, experts are afraid that the law will prompt hotheads in Kiev to once again try to use military force to resolve the situation in the country’s southeast, which would have irreparable consequences," Peskov said, adding that "there was an exchange of views on this issue at yesterday’s meeting of the [Russian] Security Council, particularly in light of the recent meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers."

The Kremlin Spokesman pointed out that the issue was still under consideration. "The exchange of detainees, which was initiated and began before the holiday season, is also under discussion," he noted.

"There is a large number of issues and the situation on the whole continues to cause concern," the Russian presidential spokesman added.

Peskov noted that at Tuesday’s meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin and permanent members of the Russian Security Council had particularly discussed ways to resolve the situation in southeastern Ukraine and the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

On Tuesday, the head of state and permanent members of the Russian Security Council discussed the situations in Syria and Ukraine, as well as Russia’s domestic social and economic issues.

Donbass reintegration law

On February 20, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed into law a bill dubbed "On certain aspects of state policy aimed at ensuring Ukraine’s state sovereignty over temporarily occupied areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions," which is known as the Donbass reintegration law. The document will enter into force on the day of its publication.

The document claims the areas not controlled by Kiev to be "temporarily occupied" and gives the president the right to use the armed forces inside the country without the parliament's consent. It also provides for setting up joint operation headquarters of the Ukrainian armed forces to control all military units and military-civil administrations in the conflict zone. In addition, all references to the Minsk Agreements were removed from the document.

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