On January 18, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted a new law that calls for “restoring the sovereignty of Ukraine over the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”, according to Ukrainian sources. The new law allows President Petro Poroshenko to use the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military units against the Donbas region and considers it an “occupied region”.
Moreover, the new law allows the Ukrainian authorities to charge all people currently working in the administrations of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk with criminal offenses. The Ukrainian authorities will not recognize any documents issued by the authorities of the two self-proclaimed republics, according to the new law.
The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the new law in an official statement and described it as “preparation for a new war”. The statement also stressed that the law proves that Kiev is determined to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine with force.
The ministry added that the new law violates the Minsk Agreements and destroys the entire international mechanism of the Ukrainian conflict resolution, including the Normandy Four format.
The tension in the Donbas region increased when US President Donald Trump approved a plan to sell FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to Ukraine in late December 2017. Since then, Kiev has started taking more aggressive steps that violate the spirt of the Minsk Agreements.