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Russia's Upper House Rescinds Right To Intervene Militarily In Ukraine

June 25, 2014

Russia's upper house of parliament has voted overwhelmingly to revoke authorization for Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Senators in the Federation Council on June 25 voted 153-to-1 to revoke the resolution -- adopted in March -- that provided for Russia to use its military forces in Ukraine if needed.

There was no debate on the proposal before the vote.

Putin announced that he had asked the council to withdraw the authorization before going into talks with officials in Austria on June 24, saying the move was meant to support the peace process in Ukraine.

The vote enters into force immediately.

The Federation Council's deputy speaker, Ilyas Umakhanov, said the March 1 resolution allowing Russia to send military forces into Ukraine was the correct move at the correct time.

'Russia confirmed its status as a great power, which independently defines its foreign policy course, acting out of its national interests,' Umakhanov said.

He added Russian senators were not correcting a mistake by revoking the right to use military force in Ukraine but were 'giving our [foreign] colleagues an opportunity to save face and return to a normal working relationship with the Russian parliament.'

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on June 24 welcomed Putin's move as the 'first practical step' taken by Russia to resolve the crisis.

Later, however, Poroshenko said he might be forced to cancel a one-week cease-fire he implemented on June 20 as part of his peace plan after pro-Russian separatists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk shot down a Ukrainian helicopter, killing nine soldiers.

Poroshenko's cease-fire had already been broken by sporadic clashes.

Poroshenko is due to discuss the incident with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a teleconference on June 25 that would also be joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval said on June 25 that Ukraine has lost 142 troops since hostilities with pro-Russian rebels in the east intensified in March.

With reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax, AP and Reuters

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-military- intervention-ukraine-withdrawn/25434654.html

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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