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Ukrainian lawmakers refuse to recognize Donbass republics as terrorist organizations

Only 76 lawmakers voted for the amendment, with the required minimum of 226 votes

KIEV, January 16. /TASS/. Deputies of the Ukrainian parliament who discussed a bill on the reintegration of Donbass refused to recognize the uncontrolled Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (the DPR and the LPR) as terrorist organizations.

Only 76 lawmakers voted for the corresponding amendment, with the required minimum of 226 votes.

The idea to recognize the LPR and the DPR, which govern the territories uncontrolled by Kiev, as terrorist organizations was put forward by deputy of the Radical Party faction Oksana Korchinskaya.

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada started discussing 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" in its second reading on Tuesday.

Ukrainian parliament Speaker Andrei Porubiy said that about 700 amendments and proposals had been introduced into the bill.

Bill on Donbass reintegration

On October 6, Ukraine’s Rada passed in its first reading the bill on the reintegration of Donbass. 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 boil 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 tasks for a peace settlement in Donbass.

Law on terrorist organizations

In March 2015, the Ukrainian parliament sent the government’s bill, which specifies the procedure of referring organizations to terrorist groups, for a repeat second reading. The bill empowered Ukraine’s Security Service to initiate in the High Administrative Court of Ukraine the issue of recognizing organizations as terrorist groups.

Besides, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council might get the right to refer organizations to terrorist groups by its own decision. At that time, the Ukrainian deputies said that the bill was discussed precisely from the viewpoint of recognizing the DPR and the LPR as terrorist organizations but the draft law was not adopted.