rada passes presidential bill on provision of ukraine’s sovereignty over occupied donbas as basis

kyiv. oct 6 (interfax-ukraine) — the verkhovna rada of ukraine has approved in the first reading the presidential draft law on the peculiarities of state policy on ensuring ukraine’s state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories in the donetsk and luhansk regions.

corresponding bill no. 7163 was supported in the first reading by 233 people’s deputies at the plenary session on friday, an interfax-ukraine agency correspondent reported.

the bill was supported by 114 deputies of the petro poroshenko bloc faction (three abstained, 12 did not vote), 71 deputies of the people’s front faction (three deputies did not vote), 17 deputies of the radical party faction (one was against) and 12 deputies of the people’s will group, as well as 19 independent rada members. the opposition bloc voted against the bill (24 votes), as did the deputies of the samopomich faction (four votes against, the majority of the faction members were absent). also, three non-factional deputies voted against the bill. deputies of the batkivschyna faction and the vidrodzhennia (revival) deputy group mostly did not vote, while three mps abstained.

the voting for the draft law was accompanied by brawls of people’s deputies near the rostrum, in particular, before the vote, mps of the petro poroshenko bloc faction held back the non-factional deputy yuriy levchenko, who tried to break through to the rostrum. during the voting, the scuffle ceased, but about two dozen deputies were near the rostrum, and not in the polling places, an interfax-ukraine correspondent reported.

according to the information provided by the vote in the first reading, the provisions of article 7 were deleted from the draft law, in which there is a mention of the minsk agreements and it says that they are priority in the implementation by the state authorities of ukraine of political and diplomatic measures to restore territorial integrity within the internationally recognized border of ukraine.

“by this law, the verkhovna rada … approves the decision of the president of ukraine on the use of the armed forces of ukraine and other military formations … to deter and repel russian armed aggression in donetsk and luhansk regions and ensure the state sovereignty of ukraine over temporarily occupied territories in donetsk and luhansk regions,” the draft law reads.

the preamble of the bill states that russia initiated, organized and supported terrorist activities in ukraine, carries out armed aggression against ukraine and temporarily occupies part of its territory, and also notes that the armed forces of the russian federation, the military formations and occupation administrations supported by it in certain regions of donetsk and luhansk regions, grossly violate the international agreements reached.

the document also defines the territories in donetsk and luhansk regions that ukraine recognizes as temporarily occupied, the land territory and internal waters within certain regions and settlements where the russian armed forces and the occupation administration have established and are exercising the occupation authority and general control of russia. the internal sea waters and the territorial sea of ukraine adjacent to the occupied land territory, as well as the airspace on it, are also recognized as occupied.

the border of the temporarily occupied territories of donbas will be determined by the defense ministry of ukraine on the recommendation of the general staff of the armed forces.

“the temporary occupation by the russian federation of territories in the donetsk and luhansk regions, which are specified in paragraphs 1 to 3 of the first part of article 1 of this law, is illegitimate and does not create for the russian federation any territorial rights,” the draft law reads.

according to the document, individuals, regardless of their status of internally displaced persons or other special legal status, are retained by legal entities and other property rights, including property in the temporarily occupied territory.

a similar situation is specified with respect to the property rights of the state, territorial communities of settlements, state bodies, local self-government bodies in the temporarily occupied territory of donbas.

it is also proposed to determine the specifics of the introduction of martial law in response to russian aggression.

according to the bill, in case of martial law in certain areas in connection with the russian armed aggression in donetsk and luhansk regions: on the day when the presidential act on the creation of the military administration comes into force, the powers of the regional, district, rural, city and district councils, their executive bodies, officials and officials of local self-government working in these bodies, headmen are removed — in case of the formation of the relevant regional military administration.

district, regional military administrations carry out, along with the powers of local state administrations, the authority to implement measures of the legal regime of martial law in the respective territory.

military administrations exercise their powers until the day of the first meeting of the first session of the respective council elected after the abolition of martial law.

guidance, coordination and control over the activities of the regional military administrations on the issues of defense, public order and security, implementation of measures of the legal regime of martial law are carried out by the joint operational headquarters of the armed forces of ukraine under the general leadership of the general staff of the armed forces, and on other issues — the cabinet of ministers within their powers.

the general staff exercises the authority to organize the preparation and implementation of the general leadership of the armed forces, units, units and bodies of other military formations and law enforcement bodies during the implementation of measures of the legal regime of martial law.

the joint operational headquarters of the ukrainian armed forces exercises direct control of the forces and means of the armed forces and other military formations involved in the implementation of measures to ensure national security and defense and the legal regime of martial law directly in the donetsk and luhansk regions.

in addition, the combined support in coordination with the sbu and the relevant central executive body will determine the order of entry/exit of people, as well as movement of goods to the temporarily occupied territory of donbas and from it.

the document provides that the cabinet of ministers of ukraine conducts a constant monitoring of the situation with observance of human and civil rights and freedoms and documents the facts of violations in the temporarily occupied territories of donetsk and luhansk regions. based on monitoring results, the government provides relevant information to international organizations, forms a legal position and a consolidated claim of ukraine to the russian federation to implement russia’s international legal responsibility for armed aggression.

“the state of ukraine is not responsible for the unlawful actions of the russian federation as an aggressor state, its armed forces, other military formations and the occupation administration in the temporarily occupied territories in donetsk and luhansk regions,” the bill reads.

peter byrne is а рассеянный journalist who spends his free time collecting ideas, running and learning new technologies.