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The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday adopted legislation giving the separatist east limited self-rule under government proposals aimed at ending a deadly insurgency, lawmakers said.
MPs also passed a law granting amnesty to fighters on both sides in the five-month conflict between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels.
The Ukrainian parliament is set to ratify an association agreement with the EU, creating closer ties between Ukraine and the bloc. Implementation of the new deal will likely take some time.
The ratification Tuesday of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is certain to receive strong support in Kyiv and Strasbourg. Ukrainian President Poroshenko has called the pact a "de facto" reform program for Ukraine as it creates a free-trade environment with the European Union.
In simultaneous ceremonies, the documents are to be signed in Kyiv and in Strasbourg by Ukrainian and EU officials, respectively.
However, the pact will not be implemented until the end of 2015 due to protests from Russia, a country that also has a free trade agreement with Ukraine but does not have one with the EU. Russian officials fear that the Russian market would be flooded with goods from the EU, and have attempted to insert amendments to the agreement that would prevent this.
Lawmakers said 277 deputies backed the disputed measure in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada chamber.
The legislation also crucially guarantees the right for Russian to be spoken in all state institutions – a particularly sensitive issue in the war zone.
The broad-ranging political proposals allow local legislatures in rebel-held regions to set up their own police forces and name judges and prosecutors.
Snap local polls on December 7 will establish new councils in the areas in Ukraine's vital coal and steel belt that will seemingly not be accountable to Kiev in any way.
A separate law passed in the same closed-door hearing protects from criminal prosecution "participants of events in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions" – a measure that appears to apply to both the insurgents and Ukrainian government troops.
Yet the broader autonomy offer appears to have done little to sate insurgency leaders who want membership in Novorossiya – a charged term Putin uses to describe a tsarist Russia that incorporated parts of Ukraine.
The 1,200-page agreement will also offer guarantees like the right for Russian to be spoken in all state institutions and local legislation for the creation of independent law enforcement
renewed clashes that killed four civilians Monday heaped further pressure on a fragile truce in the bloody five-month war and raised new questions about whether President Petro Poroshenko (pic) will succeed in keeping his splintered country together.
Clashes continued near Donetsk’s international airport, held by the government, after two of the city’s northern neighborhoods were heavily shelled over the weekend. On Monday, Kiev and rebel forces exchanged 73 soldiers from each side in the largest prisoner exchange so far in the conflict. However, the violence reportedly continued with blasts reported from the direction of the airport while gunfire continued in the region, Associated Press, or AP, reported citing local officials.
It will be interesting if and how this law holds, especially considering clashes still continuing despite the fresh agreement and the recent cease fire.
As expected with this administration it appears on one hand we Kiev is leaning and going toward the West and EU while on the other hand allowing its eastern region, or "New Russia" as proclaimed by separatists, to have self-rule with a great amount of ties with Russia.
I do not see this lasting, either the Civil War will continue, will erupt again in a short amount of time, or "New Russia" will become its own country or completely join Russia. A country aligned in two vastly different philosophies is not one that will remain one nation.
originally posted by: DJW001
a reply to: AllSourceIntel
If the separatists do agree to the proposal, it will be because Russia forces them to by withdrawing all aid. This is a possibility if Russia fears NATO intervention enough.
The proposal to please just join the EU? Isn't that what this is all about?
They don't want to belong to NATO or Russia either. Thats what the referendum was all about. It didn't say they want to (Bwah Wah-- go back to Russia), it said we don't want to be party to the Coup that occurred in Kiev in February.
They don't like the tire burners apparently. Bombing them and then proposing membership to them is laughable. I suppose they hope they will submit having been bombed and shelled into it.
As far as belonging to the EU there are referendums currently on the table in Scotland, Spain and other EU Austerity members as well.
Seems they don't like the EU or the NATO alliance either.
Banana Republic is a term used to describe countries in South America that were "annexed" by American corporations (see Chiquita). The growers and pickers were paid little and the American corporations reaped the profits.
Slave labor and subjugation by poverty.
The people in East Ukraine just want self determination. You keep spinning that any way you want, that is the bottom line.
They want to be free.
originally posted by: Agent_USA_Supporter
a reply to: DJW001
Seriously? Scotland is counting on joining the EU if it separates from the UK. I think you need to review current events before you embarrass yourself further.
Wishful thinking on your part.
Seriously? Scotland is counting on joining the EU if it separates from the UK.
The people aren't counting on that no matter what the mainstream says about it. Thats why they are separating. To get out from the yoke of any other overseers.
The referendum will probably fail because creating an independent Scotland would be too much of a hassle.
Yes, freedom is such a hassle. Not as much hassle as slavery, though.
You're right, too. UK will never actually allow it. They are just letting them go through the moves. The last time someone tried separating from the Queen they got invaded and bombed.
See the Falkland "War".
Are you under the impression that the war between Britain and Argentina over the rights to drill for gas off the Falkland Islands was an attempt to quell a bid for independece? Seriously?