Ukraine parliament approves major bills in marathon session

On August 14, the Ukrainian parliament passed an array of major bills, including one that allows sanctions against foreign companies and individuals, and another one that could help upgrade the gas transit network with Western partners.

Yet another key piece of legislation, which was only passed in the first reading, would ban ex-president Viktor Yanukovych-era and other controversial officials from public office.

A law intended to reform the electoral system ahead of the anticipated October parliamentary election failed again to come to a vote.

Ukrainian officials have been under increasing pressure to pass economic sanctions against Russia. Since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, Western countries have expanded their economic sanctions against Russia over its support of rebels in Ukraine’s east. Russia has also been expanding its own sanctions against Ukraine in the form of bans on Ukrainian goods.

“We are aware that sanctions will have consequences for the Ukrainian economy, but the price is nothing compared to the suffering of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians shot by terrorists supported by the Russian Federation,” prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in a statement on August 12.

To read the full story, visit The Kyiv Post.

(Photo of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, by Jurij Skoblenko via