KIEV (Sputnik) — Ukraine’s new draft law on reintegration of Donbass, which suggests a possibility of introducing martial law and allows the president to use the country’s military in the region, will strengthen Kiev's positions on the release of prisoners and deployment of UN peacekeepers in the region, President Petro Poroshenko said Friday.
“The law will strengthen our position in the fight for the release of hostages and in the issue of possible deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbass. Russia, as an aggressor country, will have no right to participate in this mission, which should be deployed throughout the occupied territory, including the temporarily uncontrolled section of the Ukrainian-Russian border,” the statement read.
Earlier in the day, Ukraine's parliament adopted the bill in first reading. Upon an initiative of the majority of the parliamentary parties the draft law was adopted with amendments excluding any mention of the Minsk peace accords.
In early September, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his support for the idea of sending peacekeepers to Ukraine in order to ensure the security of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observer mission in Donbass. Putin also said that the issue should be decided in direct contact with representatives of the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk republics. However, Moscow insists that the peacekeepers should be deployed solely along the contact line.
Kiev has been reluctant to implement a number of Minsk deal provisions. Russia has repeatedly said that it is not a party to Ukraine's internal conflict and called on the West to influence Kiev in order to ensure Minsk agreements' implementation.