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Riigikogu holds evening sitting to discuss Russian actions in Ukraine

Jüri Ratas (foreground) at a previous Riigikogu session (deputy speaker Hanno Pevkur in background).
Jüri Ratas (foreground) at a previous Riigikogu session (deputy speaker Hanno Pevkur in background). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas (Center) called an additional Riigikogu sitting for Wednesday evening, to discuss the deteriorating defense and security situation in Ukraine.

The session started an hour after the end of Wednesday's regular sitting and is discussing a statement submitted by 86 MPs at the 101-seat chamber, strongly condemning Russian actions against Ukraine, the deployment of Russian forces on Ukrainian soil and the "recognition" of the "independence" of two regions in eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk.

The signatories also call for increased financial and military aid to Ukraine and the fast-tracking of candidate status for both EU and NATO membership.

The statement also calls on the EU to develop measures which would render it impossible for pro-Kremlin media outlets to stir up divisions and disseminate war propaganda, within the territory of the EU and its member states.

The statement also calls on on international organizations to commence the identification, investigation and prosecution of war crimes committed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, since 2014, the year Russia annexed Crimea and insurgency war began in the east of the country.

The EU, the U.S. and the U.K. have all issued a new raft of sanctions, including against Russian financial institutions and high-net-worth Russian citizens in the wake of Russian president Vladimir Putin's announcement Monday that Russia would "recognize" the Donetsk and Luhansk regions' "sovereignty".

Russian Federation "peacekeeping" troops crossed the Ukrainian border into those regions following the announcement.

The extra-ordinary Riigikogu session is also being used to debate the government's newly-approved amendments to the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act, often known by its Estonian acronym NETS.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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