Row over Ukraine's new Donbass law

A much discussed law meant to help the country regain sovereignty over areas held by separatists was passed on Thursday in Kiev. The law is based on the idea that Russia is occupying the region. For Moscow the move is a violation of the Minsk peace agreements. Discussion in Ukrainian and Russian media is correspondingly heated.

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Korrespondent (UA) /

Kiev destroying all prospects of peace

Kiev has no interest in a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, explains Putin's confidante Viktor Medvedchuk, who was one of the key mediators in the Minsk talks between Kiev and Moscow, on web portal Korrespondent:

“The passing of the new law shows that Ukraine is not interested in Russia participating in a peaceful solution to the conflict. Are the MEPs hoping that Germany and France and perhaps Washington's representatives will sway the separatist leaders? No! So the law is a deliberate attempt to destroy all prospects of a peaceful solution to the situation in Donbass! The bigwigs in the parliament are cynically sacrificing the lives of Ukrainian soldiers for their own interests. And that means that the conflict in Donbass will continue to be a bleeding wound on Ukraine's body.”

Strana (UA) /

A provocation but nothing new

The bill doesn't really contain anything new, journalists Denys Rafalsky und Halyna Studennykova stress in Strana:

“The quest for compromises and real integration of the region on the basis of the Minsk agreements is being hindered, because this law basically gives the agreements (in particular the political parts of them) the finger. On the other hand things that would actually change the situation, like breaking off diplomatic ties with Russia, weren't added to the document. The Russian Federation was already referred to as the aggressor, just as the separatist areas were referred to as occupied. And it was already a punishable offence to work in the administrative organs of the 'separatist republics'.”

Iswestija (RU) /

And the West remains silent

Political scientist Denis Denisov discusses Western reactions to the law in the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia:

“The problem is that the Western partners don't have any position at all on this subject . Countries involved in seeking a solution to the conflict, such as the US, France and Germany, are de facto turning a blind eye to this new attempt on Ukraine's part to scupper the Minsk agreements. And that despite the fact that they usually comment on and criticise any Ukrainian legislation that is directly connected to the introduction of 'effective control' on the part of the Western partners over this state.”