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Law on Donbass reintegration goes against Ukraine’s interests — Opposition Bloc

The law runs also counter to Ukraine’s international agreements and treaties, a politician stressed

KIEV, January 18. /TASS/. The law on Donbass reintegration passed by Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday neither meets national interests nor contributes to restoring territorial integrity, leader of the Opposition Bloc faction in the Verkhovna Rada Yuri Boyko said.

"This law does not give any signals to the citizens of territories uncontrolled [by Kiev] that they are full-fledged citizens of Ukraine. It neither contains mechanisms of returning the territories and the people nor meets the state’s interests as it does not contribute to restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity," Boyko said.

The law runs counter to Ukraine’s international agreements and treaties, he stressed. "By this law the "party of war" just wants to separate the territories and the people."

The measure will also harm the work of the mediators’ mission of special representatives of Russia and the United States, the politician noted, stressing that the only way to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity is to fulfill the Minsk agreements.

The opposition has a clear plan of resolving the conflict based on the Minsk peace deal, Boyko said. "First, peacekeepers should be sent to the contact line to stop the killings and pave the way for political settlement. Then the law on the special status should come into force for three years to restore peace. And then there should be amnesty for those who were not involved in the crimes, and restoring economic relations and control over the border by Ukrainian border guards," he said.

Donbass reintegration

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.