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MPs praise Putin’s request to have permission to use Russian army in Ukraine revoked

June 24, 2014, 18:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The move is designed to normalize the situation in Ukraine’s East

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Head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and ties with compatriots Leonid Slutsky

Head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and ties with compatriots Leonid Slutsky

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Karpov

MOSCOW, June 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to have the parliament’s permission to use the Russian army in Ukraine revoked confirms Moscow's desire to peacefully settle the Ukrainian crisis, a senior Russian lawmaker from the lower house of parliament said Tuesday.

“We hope and believe that the negotiating process that started the day before in Donetsk will at least de-escalate violence and stop fire,” Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and ties with compatriots, told journalists.

CIS stands for the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose association of former Soviet republics.

In this “system of coordinates,” Slutsky continued, “the permission by the Federation Council is a powerful irritant for the global community.”

“In a situation when the likelihood of the use of the Russian Federation’s armed forces in Ukraine is rather minimized, the head of state believes it is possible to ask the Federation Council to revoke its permission,” he said.


Putin asks the Federation Council to cancel resolution on use of Russian army

Putin earlier on Tuesday suggested that the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, cancel its resolution authorizing the use of Russia’s armed forces in crisis-gripped Ukraine, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

“In connection with the start of three-party talks on this issue [settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s eastern regions] the head of state submitted to the Federation Council a proposal on cancelation of the Federation Council’s resolution of March 1, 2014 No. 48-FZ on the use of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine,” Peskov told ITAR-TASS.

He said Putin, prior to his departure for Vienna on an official visit on Tuesday, addressed a relevant letter to Valentina Matviyenko, Federation Council Speaker. The move is designed to normalize the situation in Ukraine’s East.

Infographics Who fights in Ukraine

Who fights in Ukraine

The political crisis in Ukraine led to the formation of many armed groups on its territory. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
The parliamentary permission for Putin to use Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine authorized him to use the army “on the territory of Ukraine until the public and political situation normalizes in the country.”

It was given on Putin’s request “proceeding from the interests of security of Russian Federation citizens, our compatriots and personnel of the military contingent of the Russian armed forces stationed in line with an international treaty on the [then-] territory of Ukraine [Autonomous Republic of Crimea]” and under Russia’s Constitution.

Another lawmaker, the head of the State Duma security committee, Irina Yarovaya, said on Tuesday that Putin’s proposal had from the start been designed to “ensure security and constrain the military conflict.”

Yarovaya said “Russia has been holding the position that the Ukrainian leadership should provide the legal groundwork for the entire set of measures to ensure security of both our compatriots and all Ukrainian nationals.”

“Russia’s entire diplomatic resource is aimed at observation by Ukraine of the international law norms to protect human rights and peacefully settle all issues in line with the law,” she said.


Federation Council to consider the presidential request

The Federation Council will consider Putin’s request at Wednesday’s plenary session, a source who took part in the upper house’s meeting has told ITAR-TASS.

Ukraine has been in turmoil after a coup occurred in the country in February and new people were brought to power amid riots. Then-President Viktor Yanukovych had to leave Ukraine for security reasons.

Crimea, where most residents are Russians, did not recognize the legitimacy of the coup-imposed authorities who often expressed ultranationalist views.

Crimea adopted a declaration of independence on March 11. It held a referendum on March 16, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and reunify the Russian Federation after some 60 years as part of Ukraine. Putin signed the reunification deals March 18.

Some Russian officials and companies have been subjected to sanctions by Western nations, including visa bans and asset freezes, following Crimea’s incorporation by Russia.

The West led by the United States has repeatedly threatened Russia with further penalties for Moscow's position on Ukraine but Russia has rejected the threats, saying the language of punitive measures is counterproductive and will have a boomerang effect on Western countries.

After Crimea’s incorporation by Russia, protests against the coup-imposed Kiev authorities erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions, with demonstrators demanding referendums on the country’s federalization.

Kiev’s punitive operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s Southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation has killed hundreds of people, including civilians, left buildings destroyed and damaged and forced tens of thousands to flee Ukraine.

The Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. South Ossetia recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) on June 18. No other countries have followed suit so far.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine and took office on June 7, announced a ceasefire in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast from June 20 until June 27. He also presented a peace plan to settle the situation in the Southeast during his first working trip to the Donetsk Region.

Despite periodical reports that the ceasefire has been violated by Kiev, self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Prime Minister Alexander Borodai said Monday, June 23, after talks on implementation of Poroshenko’s peace plan, that militias in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast agreed to the ceasefire until June 27.

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