#Ukraine : ” Bill `Submitted to Parliament’ seeks `Amnesty for Opposition Protest Participant’s”

#AceNewsServices says `Ukrainian Parliament Reviews Bill’ placed before them to consider `Amnesty for Opposition’ Protestor’s.     

Wednesday, January 29

Kiev Timeline 29-01-14
Kiev, January 28, 2014.(Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili)
09:25 GMT:

A bill submitted to Ukrainian parliament seeks amnesty for all participants of the opposition protest with the exception of those suspected of major crimes. The bill, which is expected to be adopted on Wednesday, has been submitted by the ruling Party of Regions as part of the government concessions to the opposition.

The amnesty, once signed into law, will not come into force until the protesters vacate all governmental buildings and allow barricades to be removed from Kiev and other Ukrainian cities. The opposition will also have to disarm and disband groups of rioters before the amnesty comes into force.

An alternative amnesty bill submitted to the parliament by an independent MP stipulates no provisions for relinquishing the government buildings. It also specifically requires that all information gathered on participants of the protests subject to the amnesty is destroyed.

07:05 GMT:

The damage from protests in Kiev is estimated to be at least US$2.5 million, the city administration reported.

“That’s after a quick survey of the buildings and parks,” Deputy Mayor Anatoly Golubchenko said as he voiced the figure. We’ve already issued a bill to organizers of the pro-government rallies. But nobody seems to take responsibility for Grushevskogo Street and Independence Square,” he added in reference to the places where most of the rioting and a major opposition protest took place.

The damage included destroyed pavements, fragments of which radical opposition activists hurled at riot police, and buildings burned out in fires started by tires set alight by the protesters.

03:20 GMT:

In his 6th State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama said that USA is using its enormous opportunities to “do good and promote understanding around the globe – to forge greater cooperation, to expand new markets, to free people from fear and want.”

“In Ukraine, we stand for the principle that all people have the right to express themselves freely and peacefully, and have a say in their country’s future,”Obama said.

00:12 GMT:

Opposition factions clashed with each other in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov for control over the regional administration building. Activists from the nationalist party Svoboda (Freedom), had scuffles with their allies, who had helped them take over the building back on January 23, local media reported.

The overnight clashes happened shortly after the Svoboda activists announced that they would hand over the administration building to a so-called ‘People’s Rada’, an opposition-led body which aims to replace the regular government in the Ukrainian region. Reports say the activists trying to establish their hold on the building used tear gas against those who refused to leave.

Svoboda later said the scuffles were caused by a misunderstanding in the opposition ranks.

Tuesday, January 28

22:04 GMT:

US Vice President Joe Biden has welcomed the repeal of anti-protest laws in Ukraine and the resignation of PM Nikolay Azarov. He also urged President Viktor Yanukovich to sign the repeal and take further measures to set up a new pro-European government.

“These include an amnesty law and a new government that can bring political unity, win the confidence of the Ukrainian people, and take Ukraine in the direction of Europe by strengthening democratic institutions and making the reforms necessary to achieve economic prosperity,” the White House said.

Tuesday’s call was the third phone conversation between Biden and Yanukovich in less than a week.

21:06 GMT:

Canada’s immigration minister said that Ottawa will bar entry into the country to Ukrainian officials involved in protest crackdowns in Kiev.

“Effective immediately, our government will be restricting the entry to Canada of key officials of the Ukrainian government who are responsible for the oppression of citizens and the opposition as they defiantly and courageously speak out in support of freedom and democracy,” Chris Alexander told reporters, without naming any specific individuals.

The move follows Washington’s lead last week, which revoked visas of several Ukrainians linked to violence in Ukraine.

19:54 GMT:

The Ukrainian PM’s resignation and the abolition of the anti-protest laws have not toned down sentiments in the country, said the head of the Ivano-Frankovsk administration, Vasily Skripnichuk as cited by Itar-tass news agency. Administration buildings in the west of Ukraine, where pro-EU sentiments are very strong, are still under siege and barricades are still in place, he added.

The political crisis in the country means that the resignation of the Prime Minister is long overdue, Skripnichuk believes. Nikolay Azarov’s resignation is“only the first step towards a ‘full reset’ of power,” he noted.

MPs in Ivano-Frankovsk are thinking about getting rid of the recently formed “People’s councils”, which are acting together with regional government authorities in most parts of western Ukraine.

In Lvov, a city in the far west of Ukraine, local activists of the “National resistance council” agreed to gradually vacate the captured administrative buildings, said the head of the Lvov regional administration Petr Kolodiy. However, he added that this decision is not connected with the PM’s resignation.

18:01 GMT:

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, is to meet Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition on Wednesday, Ashton’s press service said. Ashton, who is High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice-President, has traveled to Ukraine to mediate negotiations between the country’s government and the opposition.

16:34 GMT:

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has strongly condemned the violence in Ukraine and called for those responsible to be prosecuted. He also urged for freedom of assembly and expression to be respected in the country. Van Rompuy’s statement comes after the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels.

January 28, 2014. (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)

January 28, 2014. (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)

15:42 GMT:

Azarov has said that he made “a very difficult decision” to resign from his post in order to provide an opportunity for all political forces to come to a compromise and end the political crisis in Ukraine.

Tuesday, January 28

22:04 GMT:

US Vice President Joe Biden has welcomed the repeal of anti-protest laws in Ukraine and the resignation of PM Nikolay Azarov. He also urged President Viktor Yanukovich to sign the repeal and take further measures to set up a new pro-European government.

“These include an amnesty law and a new government that can bring political unity, win the confidence of the Ukrainian people, and take Ukraine in the direction of Europe by strengthening democratic institutions and making the reforms necessary to achieve economic prosperity,” the White House said.

Tuesday’s call was the third phone conversation between Biden and Yanukovich in less than a week.

21:06 GMT:

Canada’s immigration minister said that Ottawa will bar entry into the country to Ukrainian officials involved in protest crackdowns in Kiev.

“Effective immediately, our government will be restricting the entry to Canada of key officials of the Ukrainian government who are responsible for the oppression of citizens and the opposition as they defiantly and courageously speak out in support of freedom and democracy,” Chris Alexander told reporters, without naming any specific individuals.

The move follows Washington’s lead last week, which revoked visas of several Ukrainians linked to violence in Ukraine.

19:54 GMT:

The Ukrainian PM’s resignation and the abolition of the anti-protest laws have not toned down sentiments in the country, said the head of the Ivano-Frankovsk administration, Vasily Skripnichuk as cited by Itar-tass news agency. Administration buildings in the west of Ukraine, where pro-EU sentiments are very strong, are still under siege and barricades are still in place, he added.

The political crisis in the country means that the resignation of the Prime Minister is long overdue, Skripnichuk believes. Nikolay Azarov’s resignation is“only the first step towards a ‘full reset’ of power,” he noted.

MPs in Ivano-Frankovsk are thinking about getting rid of the recently formed “People’s councils”, which are acting together with regional government authorities in most parts of western Ukraine.

In Lvov, a city in the far west of Ukraine, local activists of the “National resistance council” agreed to gradually vacate the captured administrative buildings, said the head of the Lvov regional administration Petr Kolodiy. However, he added that this decision is not connected with the PM’s resignation.

18:01 GMT:

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, is to meet Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition on Wednesday, Ashton’s press service said. Ashton, who is High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice-President, has travelled to Ukraine to mediate negotiations between the country’s government and the opposition.

16:34 GMT:

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has strongly condemned the violence in Ukraine and called for those responsible to be prosecuted. He also urged for freedom of assembly and expression to be respected in the country. Van Rompuy’s statement comes after the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels.

January 28, 2014. (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)January 28, 2014. (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)

15:42 GMT:

Azarov has said that he made “a very difficult decision” to resign from his post in order to provide an opportunity for all political forces to come to a compromise and end the political crisis in Ukraine.

15:42 GMT:

Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Arbuzov will serve as acting prime minister until a new government is formed, a press secretary for Azarov told the Interfax news agency.

14:09 GMT:

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has accepted the resignation of PM Nikolay Azarov and his cabinet, according to a decree on the presidential website. The cabinet will continue to work until a new government is formed.

12:36 GMT:

One of the three policemen who were stabbed during a protest in Khersones, southern Ukraine, on Monday, died in hospital, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said, as quoted by Itar-Tass. With the latest death, a total of two protesters and two policemen were killed across Ukraine in latest clashes.

11:40 GMT:

The Ukrainian parliament is to debate a bill on the creation of a special commission on changing the constitution, Arseny Yatsenyuk, the leader of opposition party Batkivshchina, said as quoted by RIA Novosti.

11:36 GMT:

Ukraine’s parliament is set to debate later on Tuesday the legislation to give amnesty to the participants of the protests across the country.

Deputies attend the Ukrainian parliament during the extraordinary session in Kiev on January 28, 2014.(AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky)

Deputies attend the Ukrainian parliament during the extraordinary session in Kiev on January 28, 2014.(AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky)

10:51 GMT:

Nine out of 12 anti-protest laws passed on January 16 have been cancelled during the special session of the Ukrainian Parliament.

It was one of the main demands of the opposition.

 

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