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If New Law Passes Ukrainians Won't Get to Vote on NATO, EU Membership

  • Law was submitted by 17 MPs representing all four parties making up the governing coalition
  • It would de facto take NATO, EU membership off the list of possible referendum questions

KIEV, July 2 (TASS) - Ukraine’s accession to the European Union and NATO cannot be put on a nationwide referendum in line with the new draft law on all-Ukrainian referendum submitted to the Verkhovna Rada parliament, the country’s representative at the Venetian Commission said on Thursday.

In comparison with the law adopted in 2012, "the part about a plebiscite has been mostly amended as the issues that might be put on voting at nationwide referendums have been considerably narrowed," Volodymyr Pilipenko said.

"The new edition of the draft law envisages amendments to the Constitution, changes of the country’s territory and cancelation of certain laws," Pilipenko posted on his Facebook account adding that "ratification of treaties on joining NATO or the EU is not among them."

On June 23, seventeen lawmakers of the four parliamentary parties — the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, People’s Front, Self-Reliance and Fatherland (Batkivshchyna) — that make up a parliamentary coalition — submitted the draft law on all-Ukrainian referendum at the Verkhovna Rada.

In May 2014 Poroshenko, who was then a presidential candidate, spoke against a referendum on NATO accession at that period of time.

"This referendum will not ensure the unity at this stage and so it is unreasonable to hold it," Poroshenko said during his campaign trail in the Ukrainian city of Krivoy Rog.

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