MOSCOW, March 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has asked the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters, to assess whether decisions made by Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, are legitimate, the speaker of the Russian lower house of parliament said Wednesday.
“I have to report that we have filed, through the legal committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a request to the Venice Commission regarding the legitimacy of decisions made (by the Verkhovna Rada),” State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said.
Ukraine’s legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in a violent uprising in February. He fled Ukraine. The Ukrainian parliament appointed an interim head of state, set early presidential elections and approved a new government, which Russia does not recognize.
Following President Yanukovych’s departure from his official residence outside Kiev, the Rada reinstated the 2004 Constitution that gave broader powers to the legislature. The parliament also canceled the law on the fundamentals of the state language policy, which had given Russian the status of a regional language in 13 out of 27 Ukrainian regions, including Crimea, where Russians constitute the majority.
Putin added that Yanukovych remained the only legitimate Ukrainian president as no official impeachment procedures had been carried out, and added that Ukraine's parliament was “partially” legitimate.
A senior member of the Russian delegation to the Venice Commission , Rashad Kurbanov, confirmed that the request to the Venice Commission was filed on Wednesday, adding that he received a relevant confirmation from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“We have launched the procedure,” Naryshkin said.
“We all see an acute political crisis in Ukraine protract, and one of the reasons is that Ukraine lacks a political force that would be legitimately capable of reflecting the interests and mood of the entire multiethnic people, all groups of the population and all regions of the country,” he said.
“It is extremely important for political dialogue, for achievement of public accord,” Naryshkin said.
“As regards the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, it has a reserve of legitimacy, but we all understand that the conditions of work, immunity and security have changed for some deputies of the Verkhovna Rada,” the Russian lower house speaker said.
“It is evident that pressure is being exerted upon part of them, which affects the legitimacy of decisions made by the Verkhovna Rada in general,” he said.
The Venice Commission has 59 member states: the 47 Council of Europe member states, plus 12 other countries (Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mexico, Peru, Tunisia and the United States).
The commission provides conclusions on requests from parliaments, governments and heads of state of the Council of Europe and the European Union.