Russia calls Ukrainian bill on reintegration of Donbas ‘preparation for war’
The bill on the reintegration of Donbas, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the second reading, legally allows Kyiv to solve the problems in the region by force, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the joint operational headquarters, the creation of which is envisaged by the bill, will be able to use the armed forces “against civilians throughout the country” and “without the formal introduction of martial law.”
“Poroshenko is receiving unlimited – close to dictatorial – powers to suppress dissent and discontent. This cannot be called anything other than preparation for a new war,” the Ministry concluded.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused Kyiv of attempting to relieve itself of responsibility for “the destruction and suffering that are brought upon the people by the actions of the Ukrainian authorities.” “The authorities of Ukraine are also trying to shift the blame for what is happening to Moscow,” the ministry said in a commentary.
“There is no question of any ‘reintegration.’ On the contrary, everything is done in order to divide Ukraine even further and alienate citizens residing in the Donbas. Kyiv is burying the agreements reached in Minsk and the entire existing mechanism for finding mutually acceptable solutions to overcome the intra-Ukrainian crisis, including the Normandy Format,” said Moscow. It also stressed that the adoption of the bill on the Donbas coincided with the decision of the United States to supply Kyiv with lethal weapons.
On Thursday, January 18, the Ukrainian parliament approved the bill in the second reading. A total of 280 deputies voted in favor of it. The bill calls the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) “occupied territories,” and Russia is called the “aggressor state” which is responsible for the damage caused to Ukraine and Ukrainians.
The Ukrainian government is permitted to use all necessary means to resist “Russian aggression.”
The country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, welcomed the adoption of the bill.
In the separatist DPR, the adopted bill was seen as a violation of the Minsk agreements. The head of the self-proclaimed republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, said that now the “Ukrainian military” can introduce martial law.
Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko said she was worried and concerned about the adoption of the bill. According to her, it has “buried the Minsk agreements” and does not contribute to the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.