The secretary of the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC), Oleksandr Turchynov, has said that the adoption of the law on the reintegration of Donbas makes Ukraine's case in international courts stronger.
Turchynov was quoted as saying on the NSDC website on 18 January that "despite the fierce resistance of provocateurs who work against our country and the hysteria of Russia", parliament adopted the bill "On the peculiarities of state policy to ensure Ukraine's state sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions" by 280 votes.
The bill creates legal and organizational conditions for the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, he said.
"By expanding the powers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other uniformed agencies, this law strengthens our capacity to repel the armed aggression by the Russian Federation and to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine," he said.
He also stressed that the law "clearly and unequivocally" defines Russia as the aggressor state and certain territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as "occupied".
"[The bill] entirely nullifies the attempts of the Russian Federation to disguise the war against Ukraine as a 'peacekeeping operation' and significantly strengthens the position of our country in international courts," Turchynov said.
Last October, parliament passed the bill on the reintegration of Donbas in the first reading (No. 7163) by 233 votes. The bill does not mention the Minsk agreements and defines the territories currently controlled by the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics as temporarily occupied by Russia.
The military presence of Ukraine in Donbas is defined as "measures to ensure national security and defence, contain and repel Russian armed aggression in Donetsk and Luhansk regions". Corresponding amendments replacing the term "antiterrorist operation" are being made to other relevant laws.
Earlier on 18 January, parliament adopted this bill in the second reading and in general.