For two years, the Samopomich Union faction has been insisting that Ukraine should finally show its position in the war of Russia against Ukraine, proclaim Russia the aggressor, call the territories occupied, determine the dates of this occupation, and place the responsibility on the country that has inflicted irreparable harm to our state and people. Samopomich MPs proposed their model in the law on the occupied territories, but the parliament resisted, and the President wanted no changes either.
According to MP Olena Sotnyk, finally, the relevant bill initiated by the President appeared in the parliament. However, unfortunately, it has none of the Samopomich faction’s suggestions in it.
“It has no dates or territories in it, there is no direct and clear article on the recognition of Russia as the aggressor. At the same time, it completely rewrites the Constitution of Ukraine. It turns out that the President can rewrite the Constitution through a law. The powers of the Verkhovna Rada, enshrined in several articles of the Constitution, are limited; while the President’s powers are extended – the authority to deploy troops, use the Armed Forces, determine the boundaries of the occupied or unoccupied territories, determine when Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine will cease,” notes the MP.
In her opinion, this is a very dangerous policy that plays against human rights, plays against Ukraine, but to the benefit of one and only person – the President.
“Unfortunately, watching the parliamentary hall now, we see that our worst fears are coming true. People’s deputies do not want to recognize that we are striving for the restoration of sovereignty in all territories – both in the Crimea, and in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. People’s deputies do not attend sessions and do not vote for fateful amendments altogether; only few are now trying to defend these amendments,” Olena Sotnyk is convinced.
As pointed out by MP Viktoriia Voitsitska, it is the recognition of the occupation of both Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and the Crimea by the aggressor country – that is Russia – which is our main task in the work on the draft law on the occupied territories.
“In order to recognize the occupation, we must start with the basic things – with the date of the beginning of the occupation. The attempts that we are witnessing now in the parliament – through the committee and individual parliamentarians to “push through” the reference to the provision of the law that defined the occupation of the Crimea on February 20, 2014 – are very dangerous and can be harmful to all Ukrainians who lost their homes and lives in the occupied Donbas. Therefore, we urge MPs to return to the issue of defining a clear date of the beginning of Donbas occupation in order to ensure that in the future people will be able to appeal to international courts and have the right to claim the reimbursement of the losses that the aggressor country has inflicted on Ukraine,” she says.
MP Roman Semenukha draws attention to another extremely dangerous regulation of the law that allows restoring the trade with the occupied territories: “On the one hand, we are offered to trade with the occupied territories, and on the other – to send our soldiers to fight with the occupied territories. It is unacceptable! We constantly hear from the Foreign Ministry and the President an absolutely right appeal to our international partners with a demand to continue and strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation. But at the same time, the same Russian companies are now in Donbas, and we propose to trade with these territories.”
According to him, it’s a pity that the law does not fully correspond to the national interests of Ukraine.
“The law was supposed to do a couple of things: to call the war a war, to determine the date of the beginning of the war and the occupation, to recognize Russia as the aggressor, and to place the legal responsibility for all crimes committed by the Russian Federation on the territory of the Crimea, Sevastopol, certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on Russia. Because isn’t it obvious that from the point of view of Ukraine as a state, Donbas, Crimea, and Sevastopol are equally occupied by one enemy territories? But from the point of view of the Kremlin and in the treacherous Minsk agreements – Crimea and Donbas are different things. Therefore, the ruling majority is implementing the Russian scenario today and “shamefully” recollects Crimea only in the preamble and the second part of this bill,” concludes Roman Semenukha.