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Ukrainian parliament to decide on country’s European integration November 21

November 19, 2013, 18:51 UTC+3 KIEV
European Union demands Ukraine to pass certain bills in order to sign the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, November 19, /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, will consider European integration laws on Thursday, Verkhovna Rada speaker Vladimir Rybak said on Tuesday.

“At a conciliation meeting of leaders of parliamentary faction, we arrived at a decision to consider and vote bills concerning European integration this Thursday,” Rybak said.

Leader of the opposition Batkivshchina party’s faction Arseny Yatsenyuk told the Verkhovna Rada that his faction was withdrawing all amendments to the bill on the prosecutor general’s office but for the ten ones that had been proposed by the Venice commission. “We are doing this to speed up passing this bill in second reading,” he said and asked the parliamentary majority to withdraw their amendments to this bill too.

The Ukrainian parliament was expected to consider bills on medical treatment of convicts abroad on Tuesday. The bill when passed into law will allow Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is now serving her seven-year prison term for acting in excess of her office duties while signing gas contracts with Russia back in 2009, to undergo medical treatment outside Ukraine. Apart from that, the lawmakers were to pass the presidential bill on reforms in the prosecutor general’s office and draft amendments to the country’s election laws.

These bills are a stumbling block on the path of Ukraine’s European integration movement. The European Union demands Ukraine to pass these bills in order to have the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine signed at an Eastern Partnership summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on November 28. A European Parliament monitoring mission led by former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and former European Parliament President Pat Cox has set a deadline for Ukraine - these demands must be satisfied by November 19.

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