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Ukraine’s parliament endorses law on anti-Russian sanctions

August 14, 2014, 14:29 UTC+3
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council was given the right to block assets, restrict trade operations, stop the transit of resources, air flights and haulages via Ukrainian territory
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/.  Ukraine’s parliament adopted a package of anti-Russian sanctions by 244 votes on Thursday.

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council was given the right to block assets, restrict trade operations, stop, fully or partly, the transit of resources, air flights and haulages via Ukrainian territory; prevent the outflow of capital, suspend the implementation of financial and economic obligations and annul licenses.

In addition to that, the anti-Russian measures ban Russian sea vessels from calling at Ukrainian ports and entering Ukraine’s territorial waters and bars planes to land at Ukrainian airports. Ukraine is supposed to terminate all trade agreements with Russia, stop all joint projects and industrial programs in certain spheres, including defense and security.

The measures also provide for stopping cultural exchanges, scientific cooperation, educational and sport contacts, entertainment programs; denying visas to the residents of foreign countries and cancelling official visits, meetings and talks for the conclusion of treaties and agreements.

Prior to the final vote, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had said that a ban of mail services and restrictions on media and printed editions should be excluded from the anti-Russian package.

“Such decisions can be passed in courts,” the premier explained. At the same time, the Ukrainian government suggested imposing sanctions against 172 Russians and citizens of other states as well as 65 Russian companies.

The Ukrainian parliament has also passed a law in the second reading on the reformation of the country’s gas transportation system, the parliament’s website reported on Thursday.

The bill was passed in the repeat second reading, with 228 deputies voting for it.

The bill is the first step towards stimulating EU and US investment in the Ukrainian gas transportation system, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said before the vote.

Yatsenyuk earlier said the Ukrainian government was planning to establish an operator company to run the country’s gas transportation system, which pumps Russian natural gas to Europe. The Ukrainian government will hold at least 51% in the new company, Yatsenyuk said at the time.

“The other shares may be transferred to gas transport companies from EU member countries and the US,” the Ukrainian premier said at the time, emphasizing that the country’s gas transportation system and underground gas storage facilities would remain in state ownership.

The Ukrainian premier said before the parliament’s vote on the bill on Thursday that the legislation required from “EU or US companies operating the gas transportation system to disclose all information on the structure of their ownership.”

“If an operator changes its ownership structure, it will be required to inform the Ukrainian government about this,” the premier said.

“An operator company shall be required every five years to report to the Ukrainian parliament about its activities,” Yatsenyuk said.

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