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PRESS RELEASE


Ukraine Parliament Votes for Troop Withdrawal from Southeast Ukraine and End of ‘Anti-Terror’ Operation

May 20, 2014 (EIRNS)—Ukrainian troops deployed in the country’s south and east should immediately return to their bases, the country’s parliament said in a memorandum, Russia Today reports. EIR first doubted the accuracy of the report this afternoon, but finally confirmed it from the website of the Ukrainian parliament or Supreme Rada. The freshly-adopted document also urges constitutional reforms based on the decentralization of Kiev’s power, according to Russia Today.

With 226 votes required to pass the law, the Ukrainian parliament finally adopted the so-called "Memorandum of Peace and Consent," with 252 MPs voting in favor. EIR’s translation of a critical passage reads, "The Supreme Rada of Ukraine calls for the restoration of law and order, and civil peace in the state through a halt to the bloodshed, calling to account those responsible for the killing of civilians during mass protests, a halt to the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the south and east of Ukraine with a return to base of all servicemen involved in the Anti-Terrorist Operation."

A provision to grant amnesty to self-defense forces in the east was dropped from the final draft of the memorandum. This was harshly criticized by the Communist Party, which abstained from the vote. MPs from the nationalist Svoboda Party abstained from voting on Tuesday as well, saying they believe the reform will be ineffective, according to Russia Today.

Following the announcement, Russia said that if Ukraine’s authorities plan to implement all the reforms declared in the memorandum, then they will finally be responding to Moscow’s calls. "First, we have to see how it looks on paper. If this is true, then it’s the development we have been talking about over the past months," said Deputy Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Grigory Karasin, as quoted by RIA Novosti.