On Friday, July 29, the Ukrainian Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed in the first reading a bill that would allow the government to forcibly seize property during periods of martial law.

Importantly, the law does not propose that property simply be “nationalized,” rather it assures that the owner be compensated for the seized property from the state budget in no more than five of the subsequent budget periods.

According to MP Yaroslav Zhelzniak of the “Golos,” or “Voice” faction, the bill, which passed with 256 votes in favor and must now go forward for edits before being submitted for a second vote, would allow Ukraine to be better prepared for its national defense.

If enacted, it would also allow for the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, in consultation with the local military administration, to take properties deemed as necessary for the Ukrainian military-industrial complex. Thereafter, all property would be transferred to the Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA).

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Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian Parliament has been primarily focused on national security issues. On Friday, the Parliament also passed a draft resolution, during plenary session, by 299 votes, to warn the international community that Russia was intending to conduct invalid, illegal, and “pseudo referendums” in the temporarily occupied territories.

The Ukrainian Constitution guarantees that all referendums must be conducted with the consent of Parliament. As Parliament fully opposes these referendums, the Ukrainian legislature has been clear that Russia’s proposed referendums will be considered illegitimate in the eyes of the Ukrainian state.

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The draft appeal calls for the international community to further pressure Russia, both economically and politically, to stop its war against Ukraine. The legislative endeavour also requests the international community to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

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Looking abroad, the appeal will request that the Council of Europe, OSCE, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, foreign legislatures, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the United Nations assist in the penal prosecution of any person who takes an active part in organizing, fermenting, or cooperating with illegal referendums conducted in the temporarily-occupied territories.

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