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Kiev’s actions with regard to Donbass look like preparation for new war — Foreign Ministry

The law on the reintegration of Donbass gives Poroshenko "unrestricted, almost dictatorial powers for suppressing dissidence and discontent," according to the Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW, January 18./TASS/. Ukraine’s passing the law on the reintegration of Donbass can be seen as preparations for a new war, says a commentary of the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

"Since being approved under the first reading (on October 6, 2017), the document, although having undergone certain corrections, has preserved its main orientation - to legislatively confirm Kiev’s policy towards the settlement of the ‘problem of Donbass’ through the use of force," the ministry said.

"In particular, it announced reformatting of the so-called anti-terrorist operation into a military one and delegation of control over it to the military to whom all the rest law enforcement officers will be subordinated," it said.

"In essence, Poroshenko gets unrestricted, almost dictatorial powers for suppressing dissidence and discontent. This cannot be called otherwise than preparations for a new war," it stressed.

"The result of the current Ukrainian ‘lawmaking’ is in total disregard of the Minsk agreements that are the generally recognized and having no alternatives basis for the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine," the ministry said, adding that the law is not about the reintegration.

"On the contrary, everything is done to split Ukraine even more and alienate the citizens living in Donbass," it said.

"Kiev is burying the agreements reached in Minsk and the whole existing mechanism for the search of mutually acceptable solutions to overcome the domestic Ukrainian crisis, including the Normandy Format," the ministry stressed.

The ministry drew attention to the fact that the new law "maintains unequivocally that the Russian Federation allegedly ‘commits a hostile act of aggression’ against Ukraine, ‘temporarily occupies part of its territory’ governing Donbass with the help of the Moscow-controlled ‘occupation administration’," it said.

"In practice, Kiev is trying to absolve itself of the responsibility for the destruction and sufferings that thoughtless actions of the Ukrainian authorities bring to the people, and shift the blame on Russia," it said.

The ministry also noted that the passing of the law was surprisingly ‘timed to coincide’ with the decision announced by Washington about US readiness to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine.

"Unfortunately we are witnessing the emerging situation that is fraught with dangerous escalation in Ukraine with unpredictable consequences for universal peace and security," it said.

Earlier on Thursday, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed the so-called law on Donbass reintegration. The document 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 president will have the right to use the armed forces, including for liberating the territories in the country’s east, without the parliament’s approval. A unified operation headquarters of Ukraine’s Armed Forces will be set up to control all security forces and military and civil administrations in the conflict zone. Any mentioning of the Minsk agreements has been excluded from the document.