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Ukraine’s parliament votes against summer recess

July 01, 2014, 17:15 UTC+3 KIEV
The decision on the uninterrupted work of the Ukrainian parliament comes amid the tense political and economic situation in the country
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, July 01. /ITAR-TASS/. The Parliament of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a resolution on Tuesday to extend the work of the fourth session of the parliament until September 2, thus cancelling this year’s summer recess for the lawmakers.

With the necessary 226 votes to pass the resolution 288 lawmakers voted in favor of extending the session’s work.

Oleksandr Turchynov, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, said the work of the fourth session would end on the same day as the fifth session would assume its duties, i.e. on September 2.

“Due to the need of the parliament’s uninterrupted work it was proposed to close the session on the day of the opening of the new session, i.e. on September 2,” Turchinov said.

According to him, the deputies are scheduled to hold two plenary sessions before September with the first one slated for July 22-25 and the second for August 12-15.

Turchynov also said that all lawmakers must remain in the country so that whenever it is necessary “they would be able within 24 hours to gather for an extraordinary parliamentary session.”

The decision on the uninterrupted work of the Ukrainian parliament comes amid the tense political and economic situation in the country and against the backdrop of violent combat clashes in the southeastern regions.


Coup in Ukraine

Political and economic turmoil has embraced Ukraine after a coup rocked the country in February following months of anti-government protests, often violent, triggered by President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to suspend the signing of an association agreement with the EU in November 2013 in order to study the deal more thoroughly.

Amid deadly riots that involved radicals in February 2014, new people were brought to power in Kiev. Ukraine’s crisis deteriorated further when the Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, reunified with Russia on March 18.

Ukraine’s heavily industrialized southeastern regions are currently embroiled in an armed conflict between pro-Kiev authorities and local pro-federalization supporters.

Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands have been forced to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia since April as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation.

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