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Poroshenko misleads PACE, says opposition MP

October 11, 2017, 21:40 UTC+3 KIEV

On September 25, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed a new law on education

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KIEV, October 11. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko misled parliamentarians from the European Parliament as to laws on education and reintegration of Donbass, when he addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Wednesday, an opposition Ukrainian parliamentarian said on the sidelines of a PACE session.

"When you are deceiving one person - this is one thing, although this is also bad. It is a sin. But when you deceive millions - this is totally bad, even a catastrophe if it is the head of state who is deceiving," said Vadim Novinsky, member of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE and a parliamentarian from Ukraine’s Opposition Bloc.

He said information about the law on education and on reintegration of Donbass had been untrue. "A lot of frame-ups and incorrect information in his (Poroshenko’s) answers to questions (from PACE parliamentarians)," he noted.

"And the most shocking is when a Dutch deputy from a left-wing faction asked him - why don’t you conduct a dialogue with the territories that are not under your control at the moment, - he said there is no one to conduct a dialogue with now," Novinsky said.

The opposition parliamentarian believes that if it is necessary to carry on a dialogue with the territories that are not under one’s control for the sake of peace, one must "take off the crown, go and talk". "If this saves at least one life, this must be done instead of thinking whether it is possible or impossible," the parliamentarian said.

He said that 5 million Ukrainians live on the territory not in Kiev’s grip. "They have found themselves on the edge of starvation, when the state does not pay scholarships, pensions or social benefits. The state is not interested in them. That is why it is necessary to have a dialogue with all and to use a dialogue to achieve peace," Novinsky added.

He said Poroshenko’s speech had given no answer to the challenges facing Ukraine. "No, I am not satisfied with his speech. And I think that on Thursday (October 12), PACE will confirm this point of view by voting for a draft resolution on the Ukrainian law on education approved by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media," he said, specifying that the committee had found it discriminatory. "Maybe this will bring the Ukrainian authorities to their senses at least to a certain extent," he said.

Law on education, bill on Donbass reintegration

The Ukrainian parliament approved last week the first reading of the draft law "On the special aspects of the state policy to provide state sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Lugansk region," with 233 parliamentary members out of the needed 226 voting for it.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko submitted to parliament the bill concerning the situation in Donbass. In particular, it refers to the region as "temporarily occupied territories," defines Russia’s actions as "aggression against Ukraine" and empowers the head of state to use the armed forces for the "liberation" of these territories. The bill was amended wiping off the reference to Minsk accords.

On September 25, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed a new law on education. According to the legislation, starting from 2018, instruction in the languages of ethnic minorities will remain only in elementary schools, while all educational instruction in secondary schools and in colleges and universities will be exclusively in Ukrainian.

Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece and Moldova have voiced concerns over the new law. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis canceled his visit to Ukraine scheduled for October. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Budapest would block any step in the EU that could lead to Ukraine advancing towards European integration.

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