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    Ukraine Grants Foreign Troops Right to Enter Country Ahead of G7 Summit

    © AFP 2019 / Genya Savilov
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    On the eve of the G7 summit in Germany, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a range of controversial amendments to an existing law that would allow foreign forces to enter the country - a decision which could potentially threaten the already fragile situation in Donbass.

    It could be that Kiev is simply trying to expand its cooperation with the EU and NATO in the hopes of securing an invite to become a fully-fledged member. However, the timing – right on the eve of the G7 Summit and amid renewed clashes in the Donbass region – is somewhat suspect.

    That, in turn, undermines hopes for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Donbass where fighting has recently broken out again near the city of Mariinka. In this situation, deployment of foreign troops in Donbass could possibly aggravate the crisis and lead to a new escalation in violence.

    The adopted amendment would widen the basis for allowing foreign troops to enter the country. Particularly, foreign military forces can be deployed by "Ukraine’s demand for conducting an international peacekeeping operation on its territory after UN or EU authorization."

    At the same time, the law prohibits deploying troops by a country which is designated as an "aggressor state" by the Ukrainian government.

    According to the explanatory notes, the deployment of foreign troops "would help as soon as possible normalize the situation and restore law and order in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions as well as constitutional rights of their residents."

    The idea to deploy foreign military forces in Ukraine has been avidly discussed since mid-April. For instance, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called for sending UK peacekeepers and a UN mission to the war-ridden Donbass Region.

    It was also reported the issue was discussed during a phone talks between "Normandy four" leaders (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) on April 30.

    At the time, the official website of the Ukrainian leader reported that "Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on the possibility to send peacekeeping forces to Donbass to find a peaceful solution to the crisis." However, Moscow dismissed the allegations saying that a peacekeeping mission requires authorization by both parties to the conflict – Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donbass republics.

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    military aid, law, troops, Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine
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