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PACE urges Kiev to revise controversial Donbass reintegration law, Ukrainian MP says

January 24, 2018, 20:58 UTC+3 KIEV

According to the lawmaker, a report on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine presented an objective view of the humanitarian disaster the Ukrainian government is trying to turn a blind eye to

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KIEV, January 24. /TASS/. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has called on the authorities in Kiev in its resolution to bring the so-called Donbass reintegration law into compliance with the Minsk agreements and ensure humanitarian rights and social protection of the population in the Donbass region, member of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) from the Opposition Bloc and a member of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation to PACE, Vadim Novinsky, said on Wednesday.

"The resolution calls on Ukraine to revise the so-called de-occupation law passed recently to make sure that it is based on the Minsk accords and ensures humanitarian needs and social protection of the civilian population in the areas beyond [Kiev’s] control and in the conflict zone. I want to stress that this is the first serious response to this controversial law from the world community," Novinsky noted on Facebook.

According to the lawmaker, a report on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine presented a truly impressive picture of the humanitarian disaster the Ukrainian government is trying to turn a blind eye to. Because of the war in the Donbass region, over four million people need humanitarian aid. The war has claimed the lives of over 10,000 people, while more than 1.5 million people became internally displaced persons and almost half a million are seeking asylum in other countries, the politician said.

Novinsky noted that PACE had passed a resolution based on this report, in which the Assembly members, by a majority vote, urged Ukraine’s authorities to bring the country’s legislation into conformity with the provisions of international humanitarian and criminal law and ratify the Rome Statute. They also called on Kiev to release all detainees, increase funding for temporarily displaced persons, create mechanisms to ensure their voting rights, simplify the procedure for obtaining social and pension benefits and much more.

According to Novinsky, the fact that the resolution appeared at a time when US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker visited Ukraine in the run-up to another round of US-Russian talks is very important.

"I hope this victory [the passing of the resolution] will contribute to the future great victory by all sober-minded forces in Ukraine and bring peace we need so much closer," Novinsky concluded.

Donbass reintegration law

On January 18, the Verkhovna Rada passed a bill "On the special aspects of state policy aimed at ensuring Ukraine’s state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions," which had been submitted by President Pyotr Poroshenko and is known as the Donbass reintegration bill. The document labels the areas not controlled by Kiev as "temporarily occupied" and empowers the president with the right to use armed forces inside the country without the Rada’s consent. It also provides for setting up joint operation headquarters of the Ukrainian armed forces to control all military units and military-civil administration in the conflict zone. In addition, all references to the Minsk Agreements have been removed from the document.

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