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Week in Ukrainian Parliament: top 10 decisions

The projects of new Election Code and limitation of parliamentarian immunity have not yet been addressed, let alone the renewal of staff of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine. Not surprisingly though, as it is just the beginning of the season
17:00, 7 September 2018

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The first plenary week of Ukrainian Parliament can be called a “take-off runway”: the important issues of the autumn are yet to be touched, but the acceleration is there. The Parliament’s Speaker Andriy Parubiy said that for the four days of September 4-7, the deputies have adopted over 20 laws and this shows remarkable efficiency. However, this is due to Tuesday and Thursday, because on Wednesday the ratifications were not considered at all, and the session had to be closed prematurely.

As it happened before, the vote failed because of lack of votes in the hall. For example, regarding the bill that would allow holding in Ukraine a world sport competition for students, or about parliamentary hearings on education.          

At the same time, there are important and actively discussed decisions among the ones taken this week, such as:

Verkhovna Rada approved military salute ‘Glory to Ukraine!’

The Parliament supported the bill on the introduction of military salute ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ and ‘Glory to the Heroes!’ with 283 people's deputies voting “for” the decision.

Related: Putin wants God (or at least the church) on his side

For violating the state border, Russian citizens might face up to 8 years of imprisonment

Parliament supported the initiative to criminalize illegal crossing of the border by citizens of the aggressor state. They propose a term of up to 3 years, in case of repeated violation - up to 5 years, and with use of weapons - up to 8 years. It is planned to clarify in the second reading that it only concerns violation of the border with an intent of harming the state, in order not to imprison accidentally lost people.

Equal rights for women and men in the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Women will perform military duties on an equal footing with men. This includes the contract service and conscription, military service, reserve service, performance of military duties in reserve, observance of the rules of military registration. The age limit for women was removed (from 18 to 40) both in conscription and in contract service. In addition, there will be no restrictions on the women service in the military reserve.

Up to 12 years in prison for illegal export of wood  

Parliament with the President's proposals once again passed a law on the criminalization of illegal timber exports. Smuggling of timber will entail imprisonment for 3-5 years, in a large amount – for up to 10 years, and in a particularly large amount – for up to 12 years. In addition, parliamentarians increased fines for damaging the forest.

Related: Ukraine Ombudsman demands note on Sentsov's health condition

"Single window" at the customs

The registration of documents for the transport of goods across the border was simplified: in summer, the Parliament had already passed such law, but the president vetoed it because of the norm on benefits for the purchase of grain carriers. The deputies agreed to omit the mention of grain carriers and passed the document again.

Defense Committee recommends writing a course for joining NATO into the Constitution

The Defense Committee of Verkhovna Rada supported the presidential bill, according to which the president, parliament and government are committed to implementing the Euro-Atlantic course of the country and facilitating Ukraine's accession to the EU and NATO. Politicians intend to add such norms to the Constitution. However, changing the Constitution is a long procedure, so the Parliament needs to vote with 226 votes to send the bill to the Constitutional Court.

Serviceman’s family is entitled to social benefits if he/she died within a year after the resignation

Verkhovna Rada expanded the list of cases in which a one-time social assistance is paid. The parliament decided to provide money in case of the death of a serviceman within a year of his/her resignation due to the contusion, injury, illness or accident during the performance of official duties. In addition, social assistance is also assigned to the conscripts.

Green light to the inclusive education in Ukraine

Parliament passed a law on the development of inclusion at different levels of education. In particular, it provides for the children with special educational needs to be enrolled in kindergartens and primary school on a first-priority basis, for the transport to be equipped to take these children to classes and also for hiring teachers’ assistants who would help the child with special needs.

Windmills could be built as objects of a class of low consequences

The objects of wind power generation can be built as objects of a low consequences class if all other characteristics correspond to this (they will not be automatically classified as class CC1). According to the current legislation, wind generation facilities are classified as the class of average consequences of CC2.

Ukraine will celebrate the Day of Unity at the state level

The Parliament decided that on September 22, 2019 Ukraine at the state level will celebrate 100 years since the proclamation of Unification Act between Ukrainian People's Republic and West Ukrainian People's Republic. The Cabinet of Ministers was instructed to prepare and conduct the all-Ukrainian relay of unity on this occasion.

Related: Documentary about boy from Donbas to get Oscar nomination

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