“The absence of the law on Ukraine’s recognition of Russia as an aggressor and invader might result in weakening of international sanctions,” says Olena Sotnyk

Ukraine must protect its citizens! To do so, it is necessary to adopt the law that would recognize Russia as the aggressor in the eyes of the whole world – believes Samopomich MP Olena Sotnyk.

She reminds that the law on the occupied territories was first submitted to parliament almost two years ago by the Samopomich Union faction.

“Back then, a lot of different reasons emerged why it was impossible to adopt it. First, the Petro Poroshenko Bloc blocked it in the relevant committee – the Bloc did not even vote for introducing the bill for the parliament’s consideration in the first reading. Then there were working groups, very many delays, and so on. And finally, under the pressure of society, the President could not but initiate a so-called reintegration law.

Thus, two months ago we received a law which at least called Russia an aggressor and mentioned the dates of the occupation. They were inaccurate, but still, it was a definite step forward. People’s deputies of the Samopomich faction filed the amendments to the document that were considered essential. In particular, these are concrete dates of the occupation, a very clear – stated in the first article – recognition of Russia as an aggressor, imposing on it the obligations on payment and reimbursement of all those losses that Ukraine and our citizens, including the families of the killed ones, suffered. Also, we emphasized an important issue of relations with the occupied territories – Ukraine does not control these territories, so how can we talk about the obligations to those people who are now there? This corresponds to the international standards and the obligations of Ukraine as a country suffering from external aggression,” notes Olena Sotnyk.

According to her, after the introduction of the amendments of Samopomich it became obvious that without them the adopted law would be a profanity and deceit of the society. This is why now the President and his faction are actually taking a step back and looking for different justifications why this law cannot be adopted now.

“They say that allegedly there will be an exchange of hostages and we should not annoy Russia. But Russia violates human rights every day no matter what! We must protect our citizens, and we can only do this through this law by letting the whole world know that Russia is the aggressor,” the people’s deputy is convinced.

Olena Sotnyk emphasizes that hostages must be returned in any case, because the international community is pressurizing Russia.

“If Russia does not want to return them, then it will not, irrespective of whether or not we adopt this law. But if we don’t pass the law, we risk letting Russia remain without the status of aggressor in the future. In a month, international sanctions against the Russian Federation should be prolonged; if by this time Ukraine will not have the law that will clearly establish that our territories are occupied by Russia, then it is very likely that the Russian Federation will finally form a coalition of its supporters and the sanctions will be weakened,” Olena Sotnyk.

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