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Ukrainian parliament to hold next session May 6 - Rada-appointed acting president

April 29, 2014, 16:28 UTC+3 KIEV
Oleksandr Turchynov said the session is necessary “for deputies to be able to obtain information from representatives of law enforcement agencies on the situation in the country”
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, April 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The next session of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, will be held on Tuesday, May 6, Rada-appointed interim head of state, parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov said Tuesday while closing open hearings on constitutional amendments.

Turchynov said the session is necessary “for deputies to be able to obtain information from representatives of law enforcement agencies on the situation in the country”.

An open session in the form of hearings on introducing amendments into Ukraine’s constitution was held in the Rada on Tuesday. The meeting gathered deputies, representatives of public organizations and experts.

The discussions focused on the issue of decentralization of power in Ukraine and on handing some powers to regions. In particular, Rada-appointed prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told those who gathered of the government’s proposals.

According to Yatsenyuk, “excessive powers of the central authorities should be canceled”. He suggested forming “state power representations” instead of regional and district state administrations. The representations will have to control whether laws are complied with in regions.

Meanwhile, a number of participants of open hearings, including Ukrainian Communist Party leader Pyotr Simonenko and Party of Regions deputy Valeriy Pisarenko, said the Russian language should be officially given the status of a second state language.

“We demand that the powers of regions be expanded, that they become real authorities and not decoration,” Luhansk Regional Council chairman Valeriy Golenko said in turn.

“We also need to give Russian the status of a state language at the highest level. This would be real proof that Kiev respects and values Russian-speaking fellow nationals,” he said.

The situation in Ukraine is far from stable after a coup in February, which brought to power new people amid deadly riots as President Viktor Yanukovych had to leave the country citing security concerns.

Crimea, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the new self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities. Crimeans overwhelmingly voted in a referendum on March 16 to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The reunification deal with Moscow was signed on March 18.

After Crimea's accession to Russia, which Kiev and Western countries do not accept despite Russia’s repeated statements that the Crimean plebiscite was in line with the international law, protests against the new Kiev leaders erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions. Demonstrators, who are demanding referendums on the country’s federalization, took control of some government buildings.

On April 15 Turchynov announced the start of an antiterrorism operation in eastern Ukraine, apparently aimed to crack down on federalization supporters.

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