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Ukraine, its foreign sponsors try to ‘bury’ Minsk deal — Russian diplomat

February 02, 5:44 UTC+3 VIENNA

On January 18, the Verkhovna Rada passed a bill giving the president the right to use the armed forces inside the country without the parliament's consent

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VIENNA, February 2. /TASS/. The Ukrainian government, with support of its foreign sponsors, is trying to bury the Minsk reconciliation agreements by adopting a controversial law on reintegration of Donbass, Russia’s OSCE envoy Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

"The Ukrainian government, with support of its foreign sponsors, continues to bury the Minsk agreements. The so-called law on reintegration of Donbass, adopted by Verkhovna Rada [the Ukrainian parliament] clearly contradicts them. Ukrainian representatives’ claims of the contrary are non-convincing," the Russian diplomat told the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.

According to Lukashevich, the article 2 of the document states that "all individuals engaged in hostilities and the work of occupation authorities are subject to criminal prosecution." However, Kiev has undertaken to adopt a bill which prohibits prosecution over the crisis in Donetsk and Lugansk.

"Legislation of this kind is yet another unilateral measure in violation of Kiev’s obligation, in addition to the distorted "special status" bill, trade and transport blockade, halting of internet and mobile services and the Ukrainian state’s rejection of its social obligations to its citizens there," the Russian diplomat said.

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

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