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Ukraine’s Rada beginning session to last through to October’s early election

September 02, 2014, 6:34 UTC+3 KIEV

MPs are to consider a long list of crucial issues, including the law on ratifying the agreement on association with the EU

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KIEV, September 02, /ITAR-TASS/. Seventh convocation of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, the national parliament, on Tuesday rounds up its fourth session and begins the fifth one.

The Rada did not go on recess this summer in the wake of the situation in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions where the Kiev government has been conducting a mass-scale punitive operation.

The fifth session will be a brief one, as an early parliamentary election has been scheduled for October 26.

MPs have invited Defense Minister Valery Heletei to report on the situation in the area of the eastern town of Ilovaisk. The leader of Batkivshchina party caucus, Sergei Sobolev told reporters Monday that the situation near Ilovaisk calls for an immediate reaction in connection with the number of victims there and official information will be received from the Armed Forces commanders in this connection.”

Monday, Rada speaker Alexander Turchinov asked President Petro Poroshenko to declare national mourning over a big number of casualties in the course of combat actions near Ilovaisk. Rada may pass a special resolution on the issue.

Apart from the punitive operation, the MPs are to consider a long list of crucial issues, including the law on ratifying the agreement on association with the EU.

They also may put up for voting a law on lustration, which is officially titled ‘On Cleansing the State Power.’ The problem of allocating finances for the October election to parliament is particularly high on the agenda.

The Central Election Commission says about $72 million is needed for the election, of which $0.32 million is to be spent for an upgrade of the unified automatic system of vote counting.

In addition to it, the CEC has asked the MPs to consider a bill that will empower the regional state administrations to change the location of regional electoral commissions if need be.

Under the same bill, the voters drafted to the Army and doing tours of duty in the east of the country will have an opportunity to vote in the zone of combat operations.

Before October 26, the MPs may consider a bill on revising Ukraine’s non-aligned status and resuming the source at accession to NATO that was initiated last week by Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk.

A commentary to the bill drafted by Justice Minister Pavel Petrenko defines the guidelines of Ukraine’s course as “acquisition of membership of the European Union and renunciation of engagement in the Customs Union or the (Eurasian) Common Economic Area or any other international or supra-national association, the membership of which contradicts Ukraine’s political and economic integration in the European Union.”

In this connection, the document stresses the importance of laying down the legislative grounds “for joining the collective defense formats, the main of which is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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