Verkhovna Rada Passes Several Important Bills Including Lustration

Thursday, the 14th of August, was a quite productive day for Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk thanked the MPs for the adoption of laws on the reform of the gas transit system (GTS) and on the sanctions against Russia. He emphasized that Ukraine has proved that it can defend itself.

“Today we have taken two important steps: first – we have really made a step toward energy independence, second – we have proved that our country is able to defend itself,” Yatseniuk said.

Pressed by NGOs, Rada passes lustration bill.

The bill to screen officials was passed in its first reading today, with NGOs outside the legislature staging massive demonstrations in support of the bill, our correspondent reports from Kyiv Aug. 14.

According to the Web site of the Verkhovna Rada, the objective of the bill is to restore confidence in government and create conditions for the construction of a new system of government in keeping with European standards. The bill suggests the procedures for conducting checks of government officials and people nominated for government position with the purpose of deciding weather they meet certain criteria for occupying relevant post.

After several months of procrastination, 252 lawmakers voted for the bill at first reading. Regions and Communist lawmakers refused to back the bill.

Under the law, officials incriminated in fuelling separatist or terrorist feelings will be never allowed to run for elected offices. (zik.ua)

Rada passes international sanctions bill for sponsoring terrorism in Ukraine.

The parliament has passed a law on international sanctions for support and financing of terrorism in Ukraine initiated by the government.

The Cabinet of Ministers suggested sanctions against 172 individuals and 65 legal entities of Russia and other countries for supporting and financing terrorism in Ukraine. The MPs also excluded a possibility of sanctioning media which undermine Ukraine’s integrity and sovereignty, a contentious norm that could have threatened media freedom.

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has adopted a landmark bill reforming the management of Ukraine’s gas transmission system (GTS); the document was narrowly passed by 228 MPs, 226 being a minimum number to pass a bill.

Rada approves landmark law to reform GTS management.

According to the document, the gas transmission system and underground storage facilities are left in ownership of the state, although they can be put under the management of specially created companies. The Ukrainian state will receive a controlling stake in the said companies, and the rest of the shares can be bought only by European or U.S. companies. During the preparation of the document, the lawmakers and the government agreed to make two significant amendments. Firstly, companies from the EU and U.S. that are candidates to manage the GTS are to disclose the full information on their beneficiaries.

Secondly, if beneficiaries are changed, the issue is to be agreed with Ukraine. As reported, Ukraine plans to create two companies to service underground storage facilities and the gas transmission system, with the participation of American and European partners. The pipelines and storage facilities will remain in state ownership. It is planned to lift restrictions on the leasing of trunk pipelines and underground storage facilities to companies on a chargeable basis, without the right to fulfil the functions of the operator of the GTS and/or storage facilities.

Source: nrcu.gov.ua

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