The Verkhovna Rada at a meeting on Wednesday adopted a decision on a plan of measures to implement the provisions of Opinion No. 190 (1995) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (on the application by Ukraine for membership of the Council of Europe) and Resolution No. 1862 (2012) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (the functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine).

A total of 261 MPs voted for this decision at second reading and as a whole, UKRINFORM reports.

The parliament decided to take note of the presidential decree of January 25, 2012, which will initiate the formation of the Constitutional Assembly in order to prepare changes to the Constitution of Ukraine and organize their public discussion, including with the participation of international experts, in particular, from the Venice Commission, as well as the decision by the head of state on the creation of a working group whose main objective is to develop proposals for implementing the recommendations of the resolution.

In addition, the parliament ordered its concerned committees to speed up the adoption of the Criminal Procedure Code, as well as to ensure the speedy processing of bills aimed at reforming the criminal justice system in accordance with the obligations undertaken by Ukraine before the Council of Europe.

The parliament recommended that the Cabinet of Ministers, in turn, should set up an interagency group to analyze the experience of the member states of the Council of Europe on the separation of political and criminal responsibility and the application of the legal rules similar to those envisaged in Articles 364 and 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the provisions of criminal and electoral law, as well as the regulation of the judicial system and the activity of political parties. On this basis, the government must prepare respective proposals on the introduction of amendments to Ukraine's legislative acts stipulated by European standards and the conclusions of the Venice Commission.

During the consideration of this document, all deputies from the BYuT-Batkivshchyna and Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense factions walked out of the parliament's session hall, because none of their amendments to the decision was supported by the majority. In particular, BYuT deputies proposed decriminalizing Articles 364 and 365 of the Criminal Code and providing medical assistance to former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko outside the Kachanivska penal colony.

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