Putin’s move received a cautious welcome in the West as a sign Moscow was ready to help engineer a settlement in Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking east.
Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko called it a “first practical step” following Putin’s statement of support last weekend for Poroshenko’s peace plan for eastern Ukraine.
But later he told security chiefs to “open fire without hesitation” if government forces came under attack, and “did not rule out bringing the ceasefire regime to an early end” if rebels continued to breach it, his press service said.
Putin himself said he now expected Ukraine to begin talks on guaranteeing the rights of its Russian-speaking minority, which Russia would continue to defend.
“It is not enough to announce a ceasefire,” Putin told reporters before a visit to Vienna. “A substantive discussion of the essence of the problems is essential.”
In the March 1 resolution, the Federation Council had granted 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 normalizes”.
Federation Council will consider today the withdrawal of permission to use Russian Army Forces on the territory of Ukraine.
As was explained to ITAR-TASS by the deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State, Konstantin Dobrynin, the law does not prescribe a special procedure for canceling such an order. He believes that “the long-awaited start of the negotiation process in Ukraine can only welcome the decision and therefore the upper chamber virtually exhausted its legal resources.”
In return, the Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Viktor Ozerov, in his interview with ITAR-TASS suggested that the decision of Federation Council allowing the President to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, has played its role and now can prevent a peaceful dialogue.
Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs Mikhail Margelov said that “there is no urgent need to send troops into the neighboring country and a proposal to repeal the earlier regulation, adopted by the Federation Council creates a favorable environment for negotiations.” Senator is “pretty sure” that the Federation Council “will agree with the President of Russia.”
Over 40 questions were presented on the agenda of 357th plenary session of the upper chamber. Among them is the draft appeal of Federation Council to UNESCO to condemn tyranny of Ukrainian authorities against Russian journalists and pay attention to the International Organization of Journalists for numerous violations of the media rights in Ukraine. The senators will also discuss the ratification of the treaty on good-neighborliness with Kazakhstan and the agreement with Armenia on natural gas supplies.
Senators will also have to give assessment and implement changes in the budget law, as well as amendments to the Budget and Tax Code and the law on the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. They will also consider the law concerning the minimum payment for student dormitories, a law that brings prison terms for financing extremist activities and calls for it on the Internet.
In addition, Federation Council plans to discuss the appointment of judges of the Judicial board on criminal cases and economic disputes of the Supreme Court.
Within the “government hour” Minister of Construction and Housing Minister Mikhail Men, members of the House will report on measures to stimulate housing development, to increase the availability and quality of housing.
“Hour of the Russian Federation” this time will be devoted to the Tula region. Its governor Vladimir Gruzdev and head of Tula government Igor Panchenko will inform parliamentarians about the socio-economic development of the region and the priorities of its legislative activities.
In the end of the meeting, members of the Federation Council will again turn to a discussion of depriving immunity of the Senator of Chelyabinsk region Constantine Tsybko. Last week specialized committees upheld the decision on withdrawal of immunity from the senator. “We have not changed the decision and did not make a new one. We have decided to grant the application of the Attorney General,” stated chairman of the committee on Rules and Organization of parliamentary activity Vadim Tulpanov after a closed discussion.