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 NSDC bill on Donbas: Media published draft version. DOCUMENT (in Ukrainian)

донбасс

The National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) will introduce a bill in fall 2017 that will stipulate for Ukraine's recognition of separate areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as occupied, and place the responsibility for that on Russia.

Censor.NET reports citing the text of the bill published by LIGA.net.

The agency reported that the document was to be approved at an NSDC session on July 10, but this didn't happen. The reason was that some officials from the Presidential Administration (AP) of Petro Poroshenko wanted to coordinate some details with Ukraine's allies.

The bill reads that as long as Russia constantly violates its obligations, Ukraine is no longer able to preserve a status-quo in the matter of the occupied territories. In order to have more legal arguments, Ukraine will recognize these areas as occupied and place the responsibility for that on the invader, the Russian Federation.

"This will strengthen our positions in the court against Russia," AP sources told LIGA.

Read more: Donbas conflict solution should be supported by Russia, - Mingarelli

The AP initiated postponing the issue of the new status for certain areas of the Donbas presumably until fall. By that time Ukraine intends to unite enough international partners around the issue.

"So that no one thinks we opt for an escalation," the AP sources say. "Our allies know about it. We coordinate with them all activities in relation with the Minsk agreements," official says.

The document reminds that Russia has violated many of its obligations within the Minsk agreements. The authors hope this bill to push the Kremlin to fulfill its promises.

The sources in the General Staff and the National Security and Defense Council note several important points. One of them is the Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces. The chief of this staff will receive great powers without the need to constantly coordinate each step, as is currently the case with the Anti-terrorist Center. In addition, consolidation around the military, rather than secret services, will allow the army to operate more efficiently.

The new head of the Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will have the authority to determine the regime and order of movement of goods on the border with the occupied territories.

In addition, a humanitarian catastrophe is approaching in the Donbas. The question arises who will be responsible for the consequences. If the territories are declared occupied, the responsibility, according to the 1949 Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, will be borne by Russia.

Read more: Ukraine lost $50 billion from Russian aggression in Donbas, - first deputy defense minister Rusnak

On July 3, Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman said that the bill on de-occupation of the Donbas had not been passed to the government, and the Cabinet would participate in its development in due time.

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