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Ukraine: MPs is going to vote on scrapping the anti-protest law

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[notice noticeType=”info” ]Protesters stand opposite riot policemen in front of the Ukrainian parliament  | Photo © by RIAN[/notice]

Ukrainian parliament is going to vote about scrapping the new anti-protest law in a spatial session regarding the crisis in the country.

The Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, has recently offered to repeal the legislation of the protests, but it is unclear yet whether ministers are going to support him. Opposition to the new law has helped fuel deadly clashes between anti-government protesters and police during the last few days when four people lost their life.

The Ukrainian parliament is also going to discuss about other opposition demands, such as an amnesty for arrested activists. President Yanukovych offered an amnesty to the protestors only if they will clear barricades and will stop attacking government buildings. Yanukovych made the concessions during the talks with the three opposition leaders on Monday. So far, there has been no sign of protesters leaving the streets or stopping the activities against the government in the capital Kiev and in other cities.

The top European Union diplomat, Catherine Ashton, has brought forward a planned visit to Ukraine by 48 hours and will now arrive Ukraine today (Tuesday, January 28th) for meetings with the Ukrainian President, Yanukovych, and with opposition leaders. Ashton noticed that she was “alarmed” by reports on Monday that the government was preparing to introduce a state of emergency. Recently, some reports had suggested that the Ukrainian government is going to invoke a state of emergency in the case if the protests will continue to be violent. Later, some officials said that they had no such plan.

Meanwhile, activists continue to occupy the central square in Kiev, and government buildings in a number of Ukrainian cities, saying they will not leave until President Viktor Yanukovych resigns. Yanukovych began the latest round of talks on Monday evening with “Fatherland” leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, “Udar” (Punch) chief Vitali Klitschko, and nationalist leader Oleg Tyahnybok. Recently, Yanukovych repeated an offer to Yatsenyuk to assume the post of Prime Minister, which Yatsenyuk formally turned down.

Yanukovych’s Party dominates the Ukrainian parliament, but it is still unclear whether deputies will agree to vote to revoke the anti-protest legislation. In a call to Yanukovych on Monday, US Vice President Joe Biden urged the government to repeal what he called the “anti-democratic” protest law reported BBC.

Since the protests against the government started, four activists have died in incidents during the protests in recent days. The crisis in Ukraine started when Yanukovych pulled out of a trade deal with the EU during last November in favor of a $15bn bailout from Russia, decision that was not accepted by the Ukrainian people who demand to leave the Russian money and to be closer more to the west.

Aleksejus Podpruginas
Aleksejus Podpruginas is The Baltic Review author based in Israel

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