Ukrainian parliament passes memorandum of mutual understanding and peace

The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada passed a memorandum of mutual understanding and peace on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada passed a memorandum of mutual understanding and peace on Tuesday.

The document was supported by 252 parliamentarians. The Communist Party's and the Svoboda party's factions did not vote for it.

The text of the memorandum agreed upon between the leaders of the parliamentary factions was printed out and circulated among the deputies. However, the provision concerning the Russian language's status in Ukraine was amended before the voting.

Following consultations and clearance of the final version of the document, the provision concerning status of the Russian and other languages to be stipulated in a new constitution was worded as follows: "Along with the Ukrainian language's constitutional status as the state language, the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada will ensure the guaranteed status of the Russian language. The state will also guarantee support of the languages of ethnic minorities in the places densely inhabited by their members."

This same provision in the draft version of the document read as follows: "Along with the Ukrainian language's constitutional status as the state language, the Verkhovna Rada will ensure the guaranteed status of the Russian language."

The final version of the memorandum does not contain a provision on Ukraine's non-aligned status and the direct election of heads of regional administrations by regions' residents but it does contain an obligation on passing legislation on local referendums.

The memorandum says the Verkhovna Rada will ensure the organization of a constitutional reform in Ukraine, stipulating a parliamentary-presidential form of government.

"The Verkhovna Rada will ensure non-delayed implementation of a constitutional reform based on the governance system's decentralization, which implies […] the stipulation of Ukraine's status as a parliamentary-presidential republic and the establishment of a balance of power between all government branches at the central and local level," the memorandum says.

The Rada also guaranteed the regions' powers by the allocation of essential financial resources through a fair distribution of budget revenues, the document says.

The parliament also guaranteed a judicial reform, "independence of the judicial system," and the reformation of the law enforcement and prosecution bodies, within the framework of which the prosecution service will be deprived of its general oversight function.

The parliament also vowed to combat corruption and set up a national anticorruption body.

The Verkhovna Rada has also vowed to pass legislation on local referendums.

"The Verkhovna Rada commits to pass a bill on prohibiting criminal prosecution of people for participation in mass actions in Ukraine, on condition that they vacate the administrative buildings and other public places they have seized and voluntarily lay down weapons, except for persons who have committed grave and especially grave crimes against life and health," it said.

The Ukrainian parliament also called on all illegal groups to disarm and return the buildings they have seized to their lawful owners.

 

The Verkhovna Rada also urged executive government bodies to ensure the organization of presidential elections and citizens to cast their ballots.

 

A draft of the document proposed by parliamentarian Vadym Novynsky of the Party of Regions, which was publicized earlier, envisioned, among other things, "the termination of the antiterrorist operation in the south and east of Ukraine and the return of the servicemen involved in the ATO [antiterrorist operation] to their permanent stationing bases."

 

The final version of the memorandum does not contain this provision.

Read more: Ukraine to receive first $137 million in EU aid on Tuesday

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