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Ukrainian parliament adopts Memorandum of Peace and Accord

Ukraine's parliament adopted the text of the Memorandum of Peace and Accord by 252 votes on Tuesday. The document sets forth measures aimed at settling the Ukraine crisis.

The vote took place after the deputies had clarified the status of Russian language in the final draft, which confirms" the constitutional status of Ukrainian as a state language" but fixes the government's pledge "to ensure the rights of national languages in areas densely populated by ethnic minorities."

The Memorandum also gives backing to the forthcoming presidential elections in Ukraine slated for May 25 which the Ukrainian deputies considered to be a symbol of security and the chief instrument for de-escalating the conflict.

The Ukrainian parliament called for settling the Ukraine crisis by holding roundtable meetings and preserving the country's territorial integrity.

Deputies from Ukraine's Communist Party refrained from voting because, as their leader Pyotr Simonenko said, provisions giving constitutional status to the Russian language and granting guarantees from prosecution to protesters in eastern Ukraine, had been excluded from the final draft.

Deputies of the nationalist Svoboda party also refrained from voting but for a totally different reason: they are convinced the Memorandum is going to be ineffective.

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 20May14]

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