Proposal to Federation Council to repeal resolution to use Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine

President of Russia | June 24, 2014

Vladimir Putin has submitted a proposal to the Federation Council to repeal its Resolution on the use of the Russian Armed Forces on the territory of Ukraine.

The President has sent a letter to Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko with a request to repeal Federation Council Resolution № 48-SF of March 1, 2014, On the Use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the Territory of Ukraine to help normalise the situation and achieve reconciliation in the east of Ukraine and in connection with the tri-partite negotiations on the issue that have begun recently.

http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/22538

Putin: Russia to heed Ukraine events after revocation of permission to use army there

VIENNA, June 24, 2014; 22:07 /ITAR-TASS

Russia will still take heed of events in Ukraine after revocation of the parliament-given permission to use Russia’s armed forces in the neighboring country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

“Cancelation of the resolution on the right to use force does not at all mean that we are not going to pay attention to what is going on there,” Putin said after talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer.

“We will always defend both ethnic Russians in Ukraine and the part of the Ukrainian population, Ukrainian people, which feels its inseparable, not only ethnic but also cultural and language, bonds with Russia,” he said.

Putin emphasized that Moscow would not only attentively watch but would “react in a proper way.” “I hope the armed forces will not be needed for that,” he said.

The Russian president earlier on Tuesday suggested that the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, cancel its resolution authorizing the use of Russia’s armed forces in crisis-gripped Ukraine, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“In connection with the start of three-party talks on this issue [settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s eastern regions] the head of state submitted to the Federation Council a proposal on cancelation of the Federation Council’s resolution of March 1, 2014 No. 48-FZ on the use of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine,” Peskov told Itar-Tass.

He said Putin, prior to his departure for Vienna on an official visit on Tuesday, had addressed a relevant letter to Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko. The move is designed to normalize the situation in Ukraine’s East.

The parliamentary permission for Putin to use Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine authorized him to use the army “on the territory of Ukraine until the public and political situation normalizes in the country.”

It was given on Putin’s request “proceeding from the interests of security of Russian Federation citizens, our compatriots and personnel of the military contingent of the Russian armed forces stationed in line with an international treaty on the [then-] territory of Ukraine [Autonomous Republic of Crimea]” and under Russia’s Constitution.

The authorization to use armed forces in Ukraine if necessary gave Moscow an opportunity to protect, if need arises, Russian speakers in the neighboring country, which was in turmoil after a coup occurred there in February and new people were brought to power amid riots.

The Federation Council will consider Putin’s request at Wednesday’s plenary session, a source who took part in the upper house’s meeting has told Itar-Tass.

http://en.itar-tass.com/world/737619

EU hopes for implementation of Putin’s offer to revoke right to use army in Ukraine

BRUSSELS, June 24, 2014 /ITAR-TASS

The European Union hopes for prompt implementation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request to the upper house of parliament to revoke the right it had given him in March to use Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine, Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for the EU’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Putin asked the Federation Council to cancel its resolution authorizing the use of Russia’s armed forces in crisis-gripped Ukraine.

The offer came “in connection with the start of three-party talks on this issue [settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s eastern regions].” It is designed to normalize the situation in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast.

The parliament-given right for Putin to use Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine authorized him to use the army “on the territory of Ukraine until the public and political situation normalizes in the country.”

The authorization to use armed forces in Ukraine if necessary gave Moscow an opportunity to protect, if need arises, Russian speakers in the neighboring country, which was in turmoil after a coup occurred there in February and new people were brought to power amid riots.

The Federation Council is expected to consider Putin’s request at a plenary session on Wednesday.

http://en.itar-tass.com/world/737623

Ukrainian cease-fire in peril amid new violence

Oren Dorell
USA TODAY | June 24, 2014

A cease-fire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists appeared to be in danger Tuesday as President Petro Poroshenko said he may end the weeklong agreement early.

The announcement came after rebels shot down a Ukrainian military helicopter Tuesday near the city of Sloviansk, leaving nine people on board dead, according to the Ukrainian government.

"The president doesn’t exclude that the cease-fire could be lifted ahead of time, taking into account its constant violation by the rebels controlled from abroad," Poroshenko’s office said.

Pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine had promised Monday to abide by the temporary cease-fire that was declared Friday.

The uptick in violence comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Ukraine’s government to extend the cease-fire and launch talks with rebels with the goal of giving residents in the mostly Russian-speaking east a sense of security and protection of their rights.

"We hope that the cease-fire will be extended and it will be used for substantive talks," Putin said on a trip Tuesday to Vienna.

However, Putin reserved the right to come to the aid of ethnic Russians in Ukraine.

"We will always protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine, as well as the part of Ukrainian people who … feel part of the wider Russian world, and we will not only monitor this but also react," Putin said. "I hope that armed forces will not be necessary for this."

Andrew Weiss, a Russia and Ukraine expert in the administrations of former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, said Tuesday’s developments show Russia has more control in the political role of separatists, but authority over fighters remains weak.

While some talks were jump-started by the cease-fire and there’s been a change in the separatists’ leadership, too many weapons remain spread across the east, he said.

"Any peace process that doesn’t include disarmament will be shaky and hard to verify," Weiss said.

Earlier Tuesday, Putin asked lawmakers to cancel an authorization for the use of Russian armed forces in Ukraine in advance of a European Union summit Friday, where members said they would consider toughening sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukrainian unrest.

Poroshenko hailed the proposal as a "first practical step towards settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine," according to a statement from the Ukrainian leader’s press office.

Several European foreign ministers have threatened additional sanctions if Russia does not cooperate with Poroshenko’s plan — which offers amnesty and safe passage for separatists who have not committed "grave crimes" and promises "steps for decentralization of power" in the region — and continues to allow arms and militants to cross its border into eastern Ukraine.

Thus far, the EU has ordered visa bans and asset freezes for a list of officials but has refrained from imposing broader economic sanctions.

European leaders are unlikely to be naive about Putin’s "rhetorical commitment" to de-escalate the crisis when they review the situation Friday, but his declarations may prompt fewer sanctions for Russia, said Ian Brzezinski, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO policy under former president George W. Bush.

"He’s doing things that are easy to give hope in Europe and the West that he’s backing off," Brzezinski said. "That makes it more difficult for them to clamp down with more severe sanctions."

Contributing: Doug Stanglin; The Associated Press

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/06/24/ukraine-russia-parliament-putin/11300741/

Putin asks Upper House to repeal decision allowing use of military force in Ukraine

RT | June 24, 2014

President Vladimir Putin has proposed that the upper house call off the March 1 resolution allowing the head of state to use the armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, said presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov.

“Because of the beginning of the three-party talks to settle down the situation in the eastern parts of Ukraine, the head of state has addressed to the Federation Council to repeal the resolution on the use of Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine,” ITAR-TASS cited Peskov as saying.

The president sent an address to Federation Council Valentina Matvienko today morning, ahead of leaving on official visit to Vienna.

Deputy Head of the Federation Council’s International Committee Andrey Klimov confirmed the upper house will back Putin’s proposal and repeal the resolution on Wednesday, June 25.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called the proposal of his Russian counterpart a “first practical step towards settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine, reported the Ukrainian president’s press-service in a specially released statement.

The EU welcomed Putin’s decision to reject the right to use military force to settle the crisis in Ukraine and welcomes its earliest realization, the press-secretary of EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton stated.

The Federation Council’s resolution of March 1 agreed on the president‘s right to use military force on the territory of the neighboring Ukraine “until the normalization of the social and political situation in that country.”

The resolution was adopted following a presidential address demanding security be maintained “for citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots and personnel of the Russian contingent deployed in accordance with international agreements on the territory of the Autonomous Crimea Republic of Ukraine.”

The resolution was adopted in accordance of the first part of the Article 102 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

On Monday evening, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine agreed to a ceasefire in the region until 10am local time on Friday. He stressed that the self-defense force’s ceasefire will come only as a reciprocal move.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko laid out his plan to deescalate the conflict, announcing a unilateral ceasefire from June 20 until June 27, the day Kiev plans to sign the EU Association agreement. On Sunday he issued a warning, stating that he had an alternative “detailed plan” of regaining control over south-eastern Ukraine, should his current proposal for a truce fail to bring results.

Despite the “unilateral ceasefire” announced by Kiev the fighting in eastern Ukraine continued, and there have been clashes in some areas, the Lugansk People’s Republic said in a statement. It was reported that an artillery shell hit the roof of a kindergarten in Kramatorsk, partly destroying the building. At the same time, self-defense troops of the Donetsk People’s Republic targeted Ukrainian armed forces positions at Karachun Mountain, Itar-Tass reports.

http://rt.com/news/168092-putin-revoke-military-ukraine/

Revoking right to use army in Ukraine does not mean ignoring events there – Putin

Voice of Russia | 24 June 2014

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, says his interest in setting the scene for a peace process, which is what dictated his decision to ask the Federation Council to revoke his authority to use Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine. "We – Russia and I as the head of the Russian state – want to create conditions for its peace process. This is what prompted me to ask the upper chamber of the Russian parliament to rescind the resolution on the right to use armed forces in Ukraine," Putin said at a press conference in Vienna on Tuesday.

Russia will always defend ethnic Russians in Ukraine and Ukrainians who feel inrevocable ties with Russia, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The recall of this decree does not at all mean that we intend to pay no attention to what is happening (in Ukraine)," Putin said after high-level talks in Austria on Tuesday.

Russia will always defend both "ethnic Russians in Ukraine, and that part of the Ukrainian population and people who feel their inseparable links – ethnic, as well as cultural – with Russia and feel part of the broader Russian world," said the Russian president.

"And we will, of course, not only watch closely but also react adequately. I hope the Russian armed forces will not be required," Putin said.

He stressed that Russia wants to create conditions for peace talks in Ukraine, which is why the head of state asked the upper house to recall the decree allowing the use of Russian armed forces in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is glad he did not exercise his right granted by the Federation Council to use the Armed Force in Ukraine.

Speaking at a press conference after talks with the Austrian president in Vienna on Tuesday, he recalled that his request was forwarded to the upper house of the Russian parliament at a time when events started to unfold around Crimea.

"As you know, we did not use our Armed Forces literally for hostilities, thank God. Moreover, we did not even exceed the army numbers envisaged by international treaties. In that sense, the Russian president did not exercise the right granted to him by the upper house of the parliament," Putin said.

He admitted that "we did use our armed formations to ensure a free vote in Crimea and to block certain armed groups from the Ukrainian army to prevent them from interfering with the voting process and to prevent casualties".

"But from the viewpoint of tactical deployment, no use of Russian Armed Forces has taken place. Thank God for that," Putin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed concern over reports of resumed hostilities near Slavyansk and urged the authorities in Kiev to ensure a real end to the bloodshed in Ukraine.

"Regrettably, I now have the latest information that a skirmish is taking place in one of the most troubled spots, the area around the city of Slavyansk, paratroopers have landed there and there are already casualties. This is sad," Putin told a press conference in Vienna on Tuesday.

"Declarations should be backed up with concrete action, otherwise not one problem of this sort will be resolved," the Russian president stressed.

The seven-day truce in southeastern Ukraine, declared by the Ukrainian President, Petr Poroshenko, is insufficient, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I agree with Mr. President in that a seven day period is apparently insufficient," he said at a press conference after talks with the Austrian President, Heinz Fischer.

"What is meant here is not just the ceasefire. This involves concrete agreements between all conflicting parties," the Russian leader said.

"We informed the Ukrainian side about this and we conveyed this information to President Poroshenko: It is not enough to declare the truce. Substantive talks on the essence of the problem must be started," Putin said.

"If we hear and if we continue hearing that there are seven ceasefire days given to disarm, but not a single attempt is made during this time to negotiate an agreement with eastern Ukraine, then all efforts will come to nothing and no result will be attained," he said.

But if it becomes clear that substantive talks have begun for the people in eastern Ukraine to finally understand how their legitimate interests will be guaranteed, "then success will be achieved with greater probability," Putin said.

"I was happy to state that contact began yesterday between representatives of the Kiev leadership and southeastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Lugansk. We must acknowledge that the contact produced no major agreements. But the fact that  dialogue got underway is an extremely important and positive moment, in my opinion," the Russian president said.

What has been done in Ukraine is not enough yet to settle the crisis, added Putin.

"In my view, and I’ve told [Ukrainian President] Petr Poroshenko about this: what has been done so far is not enough to truly overcoming the crisis. Because just saying only that combat activity will stop for seven days and those who don’t disarm in seven days will be destroyed, is not a way to peace," Putin said.

The ceasefire that has been declared in Ukraine is "still an important step in the right direction," Putin said. "We hope the truce will be extended," he added.

Russia wil attend the talks between Kiev and representatives of southeast Ukraine with an open mind, said the Russian President.

"First of all, we are setting no preconditions on the course of the talks between the authorities in Kiev and the eastern Ukraine. Chiefly because Russia is not party to this conflict," Putin told a press conference in Vienna on Tuesday.

At the same time, he stressed that the talks should be "about the future structure of Ukraine proper, with legitimate rights and interests guaranteed for the people living in the southeast of the country".

Moscow’s and Vienna’s assessments of the events in Ukraine coincide in many respects: it is necessary to stop the bloodshed and start a dialogue between Kiev and the East of Ukraine, The President of Russia said.

"We’ve discussed in detail topical issues on the international agenda, including the dramatic events in Ukraine. Our estimates coincide in many respects," Putin said at a press conference following his talks with the President of Austria.

"We are united in one thing: that it is necessary not only to speak about the termination of bloodshed, but to really achieve the end of this bloodshed," Putin noted.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer has said that Kiev must make its contribution to the negotiating process with representatives of the southeastern Ukraine and act in the framework of an outstretched-hand policy.

Fischer welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request for the Federation Council on revoking the resolution authorizing the use of the armed forces in Ukraine.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Putin in Vienna on Tuesday, Fischer said he was convinced that the crisis in Ukraine can be settled only in a peaceful way and that the peace plan proposed by President Petr Poroshenko is a reasonable starting point on which further negotiations should be held.

Fischer also doubts that Western sanctions against Russia will be efficient. "I am convinced that no one can gain anything from sanctions. Sanctions are not a means of gaining profit. No one gain anything from sanctions," Fischer told the press conference.

"Some think sanctions are a means that will help implement something when other means no longer work," the Austrian president said, addint that in his opinion it is better to act in some other way, to get closer to one another through talks. The Austrian president said sanctions are often used as ultima ratio whereas today we do not see whether we can find a solution that would be better than sanctions.

http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_06_24/Revocation-of-right-to-use-army-in-Ukraine-does-not-mean-Russia-to-ignore-events-there-Putin-3492/

Country welcomes Vladimir Putin’s decision to step back from invasion

Alissa de Carbonnel, Moscow
Independent | Tuesday 24 June 2014

President Vladimir Putin has asked Russia’s upper house to revoke the right it granted him to invade Ukraine in defence of Russian-speakers there.

Mr Putin’s abandoning of the right to invade might suggest a change in approach and will be welcomed by the West as a sign Moscow could be ready to help engineer a settlement in Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking east, where a pro-Russian uprising against Kiev began in April.

Mr Putin’s spokesman said his move was aimed at assisting the fledgling peace talks to end the conflict.

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called it a “first practical step”, following Mr Putin’s statement of support last weekend for Mr Poroshenko’s peace plan for eastern Ukraine.

In the 1 March resolution, the Federation Council had granted Mr Putin the right to “use the Russian Federation’s armed forces on the territory of Ukraine until the social and political situation in that country normalises”.

That resolution, together with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, helped to send East-West relations to their lowest point since the Cold War and led the US and Europe to impose sanctions on Moscow. Two days ago European Union foreign ministers warned of further sanctions if Russia did not do more to support a peace process in eastern Ukraine, and they also asked for the revocation of the 1 March resolution.

Since then, rebels in eastern Ukraine have agreed to a temporary ceasefire to give time for peace talks in a forum where Russia is represented alongside the Kiev government and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. However, Kiev said a Ukrainian helicopter was shot down by rebel fire near Slovyansk today, with nine feared dead.

It came as Russian shares rose strongly, with the dollar-denominated RTS index rising almost 1 per cent immediately after the news, hitting levels not seen since mid-January. The rouble was also higher.

“The President has filed a proposal to the Federation Council on cancelling … the resolution on the use of Russia’s armed forces on the territory of Ukraine,” the Kremlin said on its website.

Valentina Matviyenko, the current chair of the Federation Council, said the chamber would discuss Mr Putin’s request today. The deputy head of the chamber’s international affairs committee, Andrei Klimov, said he expected the resolution to pass.

Reuters

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-crisis-putin-revokes-right-of-military-intervention-in-troubled-east-9559301.html

Russian President Putin ‘scraps Ukraine military move’

BBC | 24 June 2014

Russia’s president has asked parliament to revoke the right of military intervention in Ukraine, where rebels have been fighting government troops.

Vladimir Putin’s move was aimed at "normalising the situation" in the conflict-torn eastern regions of Ukraine, his press-secretary said.

The parliament authorised Mr Putin to use force in Ukraine on 1 March.

Ukraine said Mr Putin’s latest move was a "first practical step" towards settling the crisis in the east.

In a statement, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stressed that this came after Mr Putin had officially supported Kiev’s peace plan, which involved a ceasefire.

Since March, Moscow has annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula.

This was achieved with the help of troops without insignia. Despite initial denials, Mr Putin later admitted that they were Russian armed forces.

However, Moscow denies accusations by Kiev that Russian troops are helping and arming the separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

‘Choreographed plan’

On Tuesday, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Mr Putin had sent a letter to the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, asking to revoke the right of military intervention in Ukraine.

Mr Peskov said the move was linked to Monday’s launch of talks between Kiev and separatist leaders in the east. Representatives from Russia and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe also took part in the meeting.

The separatists said afterwards that they would observe a ceasefire until Friday morning, responding to the unilateral truce declared by President Poroshenko.

The BBC’s Daniel Sandford in Moscow says that Mr Putin’s request to parliament could be voted in as soon as Wednesday, according to senior Russian officials.

This could be a very important choreographed plan to achieve peace in eastern Ukraine, our correspondent says.

It looks as if everybody is stepping back from the brink of an abyss or at least trying to, he adds.

Hundreds of people have been killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27994032

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