UKRAINE DECLARES MARTIAL LAW | Daily News

UKRAINE DECLARES MARTIAL LAW

MPs react as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech during an emergency session in Kiev on Monday. - AFP
MPs react as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech during an emergency session in Kiev on Monday. - AFP

UKRAINE: Ukraine’s Parliament approved President Petro Poroshenko’s call to impose martial law in parts of Ukraine bordering Russia and the Black Sea Monday, a day after Moscow attacked and seized three Ukrainian ships and their crews in waters off Crimea.

This is the first time the government has taken such measures since the crisis between Moscow and Kyiv began in 2014. Declaring martial law will limit rights and freedoms enumerated in 12 articles of the country’s constitution.

Poroshenko said Monday that martial law will help “strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities amid increasing aggression and according to international law a cold act of aggression by the Russian Federation.” He added that Ukraine intends “to keep adhering to all international obligations.”

The measure calls for 30 days of martial law - an apparent concession to opponents - which would allow for elections to be called as scheduled in December. Ukraine is due to hold a presidential poll March 31, 2019.

Earlier Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley condemned Russia on Monday for its “outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory,” after Moscow seized three Ukrainian ships and their crews in the Black Sea.

“This is no way for a law-abiding civilized nation to act,” Haley said at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. “Impeding Ukraine’s lawful transit through the Kerch Strait is a violation under international law. It is an arrogant act that the international community must condemn and will never accept.”

Haley told the council that she had spoken with both U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before addressing the council and her statement reflects concerns at the highest level of the U.S. government.

Russia fired on two Ukrainian naval ships and rammed a third vessel Sunday in the Black Sea, seizing the ships and accusing them of illegally entering its territorial waters.

Poroshenko said Monday he wants to declare martial law “to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities amid increasing aggression and according to international law a cold act of aggression by the Russian Federation.” He added that Ukraine intends “to keep adhering to all international obligations.”

Poroshenko is demanding Russia immediately release the Ukrainian sailors and ships.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Ukraine of violating international norms with “dangerous methods that created threats and risks for the normal movement of ships in the area.”

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg also called on Russia to release the Ukrainian navy ships, saying “there is no justification” for Moscow’s actions, while European Union chief Donald Tusk condemned Russia’s use of force and reiterated the EU would stand in support of Ukraine.

At the U.N. Security Council, most members condemned the escalation, urged restraint, and called for the unconditional and immediate release of the Ukrainian sailors and the return of their ships.

Russia’s deputy envoy Dmitry Polyanskiy blamed Kyiv and its western supporters for the escalation.

“This provocation was pre-planned, that’s obvious, and it was with the full connivance of Western states that de facto have just given carte blanche to any actions taken by their subordinates,” he said.

- VOA


 

Add new comment