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Ukrainian Rada’s bill on Donbass marking step away from reintegration, expert says

June 20, 3:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Poroshenko’s initiative is a reaction to the humanitarian program for reunification of Donbass the two republics introduced earlier

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MOSCOW, June 20. /TASS/. A bill on reintegration of Donbass, which Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada national parliament is developing now, will have an immediately opposite effect on the perception of people in the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk republics, Alexei Chesnakov, the director of the Moscow-based Center for Current Political Assessments told TASS on Monday.

"It’s scarcely possible to think that the latest initiatives of the Poroshenko Administration on reintegration of Donbass will be attractive for people in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics," the expert said. "Much rather, they mark a step away from reintegration."

Poroshenko’s initiative is a reaction to the humanitarian program for reunification of Donbass the two republics introduced earlier. As part of it, they pay out benefits to veterans of Soviet veterans of World War II and invite the peopled living in the areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions under the pro-Kiev forces’ control to come and visit hospitals.

"In recent months, the popularity of these programs on the territories under Kiev’s control has been growing," Chesnakov said.

Along with it, the bill the Rada is developing reflects Ukraine’s affinity for choosing the ways different from the political and diplomatic solutions that the Rada deputies speak about officially.

"The forceful elements of the new law in what concerns replacement of the ‘antiterrorist operation’ with martial law testify to Kiev’s readiness to resolve the Donbass problem by force but any steps towards that solution will be considered as violation of the Minsk accords," Chesnakov said.

He also believes that a rebranding of the government’s armed punitive operation in Donbass will not help President Poroshenko in any significant way.

"Poroshenko should either implement the Minsk II accords or admit his personal responsibility for non-compliance with them," Chesnakov said.

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