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The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has passed in the first reading the presidential draft law on the national security of Ukraine (No. 8068).

Some 265 MPs out of 361 registered in the session hall backed the decision, an UNIAN correspondent reports.

Presenting the bill, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov said the bill should become a key instrument of reform in the sphere of national security.

"Such reforms that will strengthen the security and defense sector of Ukraine must ensure the preservation of Ukrainian statehood in the face of modern day threats, and, above all, the aggression on the part of the Russian Federation," he said.

Turchynov stressed the bill had been worked out in close cooperation with experts from NATO, the EU and the U.S.

"Its adoption should be a significant step toward the implementation of NATO standards in Ukraine," the NSDC secretary said.

Read alsoPoroshenko remains committed to peaceful liberation of occupied territoriesIn general, he said the document implements the ideas embodied in the strategic planning documents adopted in 2015-2016, in particular, in the Strategic Defense Bulletin. "With its adoption, the regulation of the activities of the security and defense sector bodies is being introduced in accordance with the norms and standards of the European Union and NATO, the use of best practices," Turchynov said. In particular, according to him, it is about the system of management of and leadership in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Among other things, the bill enshrines a clear distribution of powers and competencies of the security and defense sector bodies, enhances coordination of their efforts, improves quality in resource management, reduces corruption risks, and limits unnecessary duplication of security functions, he said.

Commenting on the powers related to parliamentary control over the SBU Security Service of Ukraine, Turchynov said the draft law considers the SBU as one of the law enforcement agencies with special powers. "At the same time, in order to stop any possible speculation on the issue, the president of Ukraine insists on the direct inclusion of the Security Service of Ukraine in Part 2 Article 6 of the draft law already in the first reading," he said.

Turchynov also added the bill provides that the national security threats will be determined by the National Security Strategy of Ukraine, as well as by sectoral strategies, including the strategy for cyber and military security.

The bill determines that the leadership in the spheres of national security and defense, according to the Constitution of Ukraine, is carried out by the president.

Read alsoPoltorak: Javelins to be delivered to Ukraine "on time"The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine is the main body in the system of central executive bodies that ensures the formation and implementation of the state policy on national security in the military sphere, defense and military development in peacetime and during a special period.

Under the authority granted under the Constitution of Ukraine, the security and defense sector is subject to democratic civil control. The civil control system consists of control by the president, parliament, government, National Security and Defense Council, executive authorities, and local self-government bodies, judicial and public controls.

It is determined that the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is the highest military official in the Armed Forces. He carries out direct military leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine through the General Staff.

The commanders of various forces are subordinated to the commander-in-chief and responsible for the development of subordinated forces, their technical equipment and all-round support, training and readiness to perform the tasks assigned.

The Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces is the control body of inter-service and interdepartmental groupings of troops.

The commander of the joint forces reports to the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and carries out through the Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces control over the acquisition of operational (combat) capabilities, planning for the use and direct control of the combined forces and means of the Armed Forces, other components of the defense forces that are subordinated to him, as well as the national contingent and national personnel involved in international peacekeeping and security operations.