Bill on restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity prioritizes Minsk accords implementation
KYIV. Oct 4 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has proposed that the Verkhovna Rada treat the security provisions of the Minsk Accords as a priority for the duration of the effort to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine, according to a presidential bill registered in parliament on October 4.
"In carrying out politico-diplomatic measures to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine within Ukraine's internationally recognized border, Ukrainian state authorities and officials will give priority to the implementation of the security provisions of the Minsk protocol of September 5, 2014; the Minsk memorandum of September 19, 2014; and the Package of Measures of February 12, 2015 for the purpose of creating the necessary conditions for a political resolution in accordance with international law and the law of Ukraine," says the bill, titled "On the particulars of state policy to ensure Ukrainian state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions."
The operations headquarters shall have command and control over the forces and equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and all other government agencies providing national security and defense and "deterring and countering Russian aggression" in Donbas.
"Immediate command over the forces and means of the Ukrainian armed forces, other military formations, the Interior Ministry, the National Police, and the central executive body implementing the state policy on civil defense, which are involved in the implementation of measures to ensure national security and defense, to deter and counter Russian armed aggression in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, shall be entrusted to the Unified Operations Headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces," the bill says.
The operations headquarters will plan, organize, and execute tasks to ensure national security and defense and to deter and counter aggression in Donbas.
The headquarters will also be entrusted with coordinating and controlling the activity of civilian or military administrations (if formed) in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in questions of national security and defense.
The bill determines which part of Ukraine's land and maritime territory is recognized as being temporarily occupied.
Article 1 of the bill says that "in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, temporarily occupied territories are the land territory and its inland waters within the boundaries of the breakaway districts, towns, and villages in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions where the Russian armed forces and the Russian occupation administration have installed and are exerting occupation powers and general control by the Russian Federation." Also considered occupied are "Ukraine's inland waters and territorial seas bordering the land territory specified in clause 1 of this section" and "the airspace over these territories."
"The borders of the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions shall be defined by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry," the bill says.
The bill says it does not contradict the Ukrainian right to regain control over Crimea and Sevastopol.
Furthermore, the transition provisions stipulate that by this law, "The Verkhovna Rada approves the Ukrainian president's decision to use the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military formations to deter Russian aggression in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and to ensure state sovereignty over the 'temporarily occupied territories in those regions.'"
"The state of Ukraine is not responsible for the illegal activities of Russia as an aggressor state, of its armed forces, other military formations and the occupation administration in the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions."