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Draft law on amnesty for eastern Ukraine protesters is ready

Ukrainian parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has said a draft law on amnesty for protesters in eastern Ukraine is ready.

"The cabinet has prepared a draft law on amnesty," he told the Verkhovna Rada on Friday. "If the whole parliament expresses its will, the law will be registered, and let us vote for it," Yatsenyuk said.

Batkivshchyna's leader in the parliament Sergei Sobolev said on Thursday the party's members in the parliament were ready to vote for amnesty for all participants in protests in the east of the country who opposed the Kiev authorities.

"If the administrative buildings are vacated, the law on amnesty will come into force, and we are ready to vote for it. We take into consideration the protesters' wishes," he noted.

According to Yatsenyuk, the Ukrainian government will continue decentralizing the state power. "We state that we continue working on the decentralization of state power. By no means has this anything to do with four-party talks between EU, USA, Ukraine and Russia and negotiations with Russia. This is our decision and demand of the Ukrainian people," Yatsenyuk said.

In this regard, according to the parliament-appointed prime minister, the Tax Code and the Budget Code in particular will be amended in the nearest time. "The government protects and will further protect national minorities, including the Russian-speaking population, since all of them are citizens of Ukraine, regardless of the language they speak, to what church they go and how they read certain pages of history," the prime minister stated.

Who does not come within the provisions of the law on amnesty

April 10, MP from the Batkivshchyna party Andriy Senchenko said that those who committed grave crimes during seizure of administrative offices in Ukraine's south-east would not come under amnesty.

"Today, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov pledged that in case of disarmament and clearing of seized administrative offices all participants of the seizure would be amnestied. But we should clearly understand thatů people having committed grave crimes would not be amnestied in any way. This is our stance and we are warning about it," Senchenko said. He added that the authorities "do not aim at using arms, but they will act upon the situation and towards this people as if they were terrorists to the extent of an order to use force".

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 18Apr14]

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