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Support for constitutional amendments gets head of Rada Foreign Affairs Committee fired

July 20, 2015, 10:16 UTC+3 KIEV
Anna Gopko was recalled from her post as the head of the Ukrainian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee
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Ukraine's parliament

Ukraine's parliament

© Mikhail Merkiv/TASS

KIEV, July 20. /TASS/. The Samopomich (Self-Help) faction in Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has decided to recall head of the Foreign Affairs Committee Anna Gopko from her post because of her support for the decentralization amendments to the Ukrainian Constituion.

"We had very complex discussions in our faction. The faction decided to warn Gopko that she had mishandled the situation and to recall her from the post of the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee," the faction’s head Oleg Berezyuk told the Ukrainian edition of Vesti.

On Thursday, the Verkhovna Rada sent the constitutional amendments regarding decentralization of power in the country to Ukraine’s Constitutional Court. In addition to the factions that voted against the amendments - the Radical Party and Samopomich - a number of lawmakers from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, the pro-government party People’s Front and the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party did not support the decision.

Elena Sotnik, a parliamentarian from the Self-Help faction said after the vote that the draft amendments to the country’s Constitution submitted by President Petro Poroshneko were aimed at the centralization of power rather than its decentralization.

Vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Oksana Syroed said pressure was exerted on lawmakers by the West. She noted that representatives of some Western countries had demanded that the draft amendments were endorsed to "demonstrate implementation of the Minsk agreements." The Rada session was attended by US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. In addition to that, 10 vehicles of foreign diplomatic missions were seen near the Rada building.

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