Ukraine crisis: Country welcomes Vladimir Putin’s decision to step back from military invasion

The Russian President has asked Parliament to revoke resolution sanctioning the use of force in Ukraine

Moscow

President Vladimir Putin has asked Russia’s upper house to revoke the right it granted him to invade Ukraine in defence of Russian-speakers there.

Mr Putin’s abandoning of the right to invade might suggest a change in approach and will be welcomed by the West as a sign Moscow could be ready to help engineer a settlement in Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking east, where a pro-Russian uprising against Kiev began in April.

Mr Putin’s spokesman said his move was aimed at assisting the fledgling peace talks to end the conflict.

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called it a “first practical step”, following Mr Putin’s statement of support last weekend for Mr Poroshenko’s peace plan for eastern Ukraine.

In the 1 March resolution, the Federation Council had granted Mr Putin the right to “use the Russian Federation’s armed forces on the territory of Ukraine until the social and political situation in that country normalises”.

That resolution, together with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, helped to send East-West relations to their lowest point since the Cold War and led the US and Europe to impose sanctions on Moscow. Two days ago European Union foreign ministers warned of further sanctions if Russia did not do more to support a peace process in eastern Ukraine, and they also asked for the revocation of the 1 March resolution.

Since then, rebels in eastern Ukraine have agreed to a temporary ceasefire to give time for peace talks in a forum where Russia is represented alongside the Kiev government and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. However, Kiev said a Ukrainian helicopter was shot down by rebel fire near Slovyansk today, with nine feared dead.

It came as Russian shares rose strongly, with the dollar-denominated RTS index rising almost 1 per cent immediately after the news, hitting levels not seen since mid-January. The rouble was also higher.

“The President has filed a proposal to the Federation Council on cancelling ... the resolution on the use of Russia’s armed forces on the territory of Ukraine,” the Kremlin said on its website.

Valentina Matviyenko, the current chair of the Federation Council, said the chamber would discuss Mr Putin’s request today. The deputy head of the chamber’s international affairs committee, Andrei Klimov, said he expected the resolution to pass.

Reuters

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Portfolio Administrator

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has become known a...

Recruitment Genius: Mechanical and Electrical Engineer - Midlands

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrig...

Recruitment Genius: Sales / Account Manager

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales / Account Manager is re...

Ashdown Group: Application Developer - C#.Net, ASP.Net - Cambridgeshire

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Software Application Developer (C# & ASP.Net, SQL S...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot