17:59 12.02.2014

Ukraine minister says no legal grounds for army intervention in home conflict

1 min read

Ukraine's acting defense minister has pointed out that Ukrainian law prohibits the use of the armed forces to put down domestic unrest in any situation other than a state of emergency or martial law.

"Under the law 'On the Armed Forces of Ukraine,' it is only possible if a state of emergency or martial law is introduced in the country. Under the Constitution, it may be introduced by a presidential decree and is subject to approval by the Verkhovna Rada [parliament]," Pavlo Lebedev told Interfax-Ukraine in an exclusive interview.

Currently there exists no such decree, he said.

"The Armed Forces of Ukraine are at their bases and following their normal routine. There is full-scale scheduled training underway," Lebedev said.

"But the exacerbation of the situation in the country hasn't left the armed forces and Ministry of Defense personnel indifferent. As citizens of Ukraine, they have stated their civil position. There have been general meetings in the Armed Forces of Ukraine at which 87% of servicemen expressed support for the president's actions to settle the current conflict in a peaceful way and prevent an exacerbation of the civil confrontation," the minister said.

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