Ukraine to never agree to unconditional amnesty for all enemy combatants in Donbas, MP says
Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Foreign Policy and Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation, Bohdan Yaremenko, has noted that Ukraine will never agree to an unconditional amnesty for all participants in the Donbas hostilities.
"Amnesty is one of the key individual points of the Minsk agreements. By agreeing to the incredibly wrong thesis in the Minsk agreements-2, the Ukrainian authorities and diplomacy led by President Poroshenko had been making efforts to revise the way this point should be perceived... There is a rather rude phrase there that “Ukraine will ensure amnesty, non-discrimination, and non-prosecution for all participants in the Donbas events," but this is not true. We cannot reject the general principle of law – the inevitability of punishment for those who have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and were involved in murders and torture. Ukraine will never go for amnesty," the MP told journalists Wednesday.
In this matter, Yaremenko says, Ukraine has mutual understanding with European partners.
"Ukraine needs to move toward adopting laws that will clearly establish the legal status of persons who had remained in the occupied territories, in a certain form that doesn't constitute a crime under criminal law, but may be subjected to moral condemnation."
According to the head of the committee, Ukrainian legislation should determine how to treat participants in illegal armed groups who were not involved in the killings, torture, and shelling of Ukrainian territories, and who repented.
"There is international experience. Separate procedures may be drawn up in Ukrainian law, which will include confession or guilty pleas, automatic cancellation of the need to bear punishment or conviction for what has been done. These are certain elements of amnesty and reconciliation. But this doesn't apply to those involved in the killings and bloodshed," added Yaremenko.
"It is obvious that the law on amnesty or on the existence of amnesty in some form is Russia's requirement in the framework of the peace, from which Russia will not back down. But, we hope that the interpretation of amnesty, understanding of amnesty as a process of pardoning those who have confessed in their crimes, if these crimes are not too grave, it seems to me, could be acceptable to Ukrainian society and will correspond to the general rules of law," the MP concluded.