Ukraine-Russia conflict: Ukrainian Parliament in session on visa regime with Russia

11:40 Oct. 6, 2016

Ukrainian Parliament in session on visa regime with Russia

Flags of Russia and Ukraine (GettyImages Photo)

Country's ruling party won't be voting ‘for several reasons', party member said

Ukrainian Parliament is in the session regarding the denouncement of the visa-free regime agreement with Russia.

Read also: Russia takes one more political hostage – Ukraine MFA

The lawmakers are considering the restrictions after Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko was arrested in Moscow, allegedly for spying.

The potential ban on the visa-free travel has left the Parliament divided. While most of the parties say they will approve the decision, the country's ruling Petro Poroshenko's Bloc (BPP) has declared it will not vote today ‘for several reasons'.

‘We are a pro-government party and won't make any decisions without consulting the government. The Foreign Minister says we are not ready to do it. Then, we have a million Ukrainians who work in Russia to provide for their families', said Oleksii Honcharenko, a member of the BPP which holds 143 seats in the Parliament out of 450.

Read also: EU parliament backs cancelling visas for Ukrainians

The second biggest party Narodny Front, which is the initiator of the bill, announced it will endorse the restrictions.

The idea is also backed by other political parties in the Parliament, with the expected exception of the Opposition bloc. 

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