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Ukraine parliament rejects amendment on breaking off diplomatic ties with Russia

January 17, 16:06 UTC+3 KIEV

Some Ukrainian experts have already voiced an opinion that the law in the planned wording will make more difficult and will put off the tasks for a peace settlement in Donbass

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© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov

KIEV, January 17. /TASS/. Ukrainian parliamentarians did not give their backing on Wednesday to the amendment on cutting diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation to the bill on the reintegration of Donbass, with 72 parliamentarians voting in favor of it, way below the required minimum of 226 votes.

The amendment was earlier declined by the parliament’s relevant committee. "The committee declined this amendment, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry must make up its mind on the issue," said Ivan Vinnik, secretary of the committee for national security and defense from the Pyotr Poroshenko Bloc faction.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Ukrainian parliament is giving a second riding to the bill "On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of the state sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine." At the present moment, more than 600 amendments have been considered, but none of them has received the backing of the parliament, including an amendment on recognizing as terrorist organizations the Donbass republics not under Kiev’s control.

On October 6, Ukraine’s Rada passed in its first reading the bill on the reintegration of Donbass, called "On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of the state sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine."

On November 17, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense recommended adopting it into law at large and agreed upon all the amendments to it. The bill classifies the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as "occupied territories," labels Russia an "occupier" and officially introduces the notion of "Russian aggression."

The measures on the reintegration of the region boils down to a use-of-force scenario, and political and diplomatic pressure on Russia. During its first reading in the parliament, the bill had been stripped off any mentioning of the Minsk accords and norms, and any reference to these agreements.

Some Ukrainian experts have already voiced an opinion that the law in the planned wording will make more difficult and will put off the tasks for a peace settlement in Donbass. According to the head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Fiona Frazer, the bill does not fully ensure the protection of human rights. President’s representative to the parliament Irina Lutsenko also said earlier that the amendments made to the bill under the first reading distorted the strategy envisaged in the document by President Pyotr Poroshenko.

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