248 people’s deputies registered for participation in the plenary meeting.

Plenary session was opened by the Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Koshulynskyi. He announced that the people’s deputies O.Volkov, V.Dudka, O.Vantsova, Yu.Poliachenko, Ya.Sukhyi, V.Hrushevskyi, V.Zherebiuk, I.Myrnyi, H.Vasyliev and N.Mkhitarian have left the faction of the Party of Regions. 

R.Koshulynskyi informed that the Law “On restoration of certain provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine” was referred to the Administration of the President of Ukraine today.

Chairman informed that Volodymyr Rybak wrote a letter of resignation in connection with disease and treatment.

Parliamentarians took the floor with proposals to the agenda.

The people’s deputy Yu.Miroshnychenko suggested faction representatives to convene for the meeting before forming the agenda. He noted also that all the decisions that will be adopted today should be voted on with participation of the Party of Regions.

The people’s deputy N.Shufrych called on his colleagues to take balanced decisions that will be accepted by the whole Ukraine. “We have to work with responsibility and establish all conditions for stabilization of the situation in Ukraine,” he noted.

Leader of Svoboda faction O.Tiahnybok suggested first of all comply with the statement of V.Rybak and then pass an address of the Verkhovna Rada to all the citizens of Ukraine on preventing looting; adopt the resolution on restoration of constitutional order in Ukraine; form the composition of a new government; appoint the Persecutor General, Head of the Security Service, new composition of the Central Election Commission; adopt the law on impeachment of the President and to immediately initiate the process of a court reform.

The people’s deputy O.Turchynov informed that the majority of acting members of the Cabinet of Ministers have left their workplaces and no one knows where the President is. That is why the only legitimate body is the Verkhovna Rada. “The top priority task of the Verkhovna Rada lies in restoration of authority and the Constitution of Ukraine. That is why it is necessary to elect leadership of the Verkhovna Rada, so that all the adopted documents were legitimate,” suggested O.Turchynov.  

R.Koshulynskyi read out the resignation letter of I.Kayetnik.

Parliamentarians paid a minute’s silence to honor memory of Ya.Zaiko, the people’s deputy of the first convocation, who has died on February 18 during mass protests. 

People’s deputies continued their speeches. The people’s deputy H.Smitiukh addressed those present with a request to convene in the Verkhovna Rada to take the necessary decisions. 

The people’s deputy I.Bohoslovska noted that all the decisions of the Parliament should base on the task of uniting the country.

Leader of the UDAR faction Vitalii Klychko stressed the necessity to make everything possible to prevent further opposition in the country and return peace.

Leader of the Batkivshchyna faction A.Yatseniuk noted that yesterday, the President V.Yanukovych had to sign all the laws adopted by the Parliament. According to him, refusal to sign these laws will lead to his immediate resignation.

At the proposal of the people’s deputy V.Kubiv parliamentarians paid a moment’s silence to commemorate all the deceased during mass protests in Kyiv over the past several days. 

The people’s deputy V.Lytvyn upheld previous speeches of his colleagues, in which they stressed that the Verkhovna Rada should assume all the responsibility for the developments in the country.

R.Koshulynskyi announced that the people’s deputies Ivan Popesku, Larysa Melnychuk and Serhii Katsuba leave faction of the Party of Regions.

The people’s deputy Volodymyr Kurennoi stressed that the issue of breakup of Ukraine is not on the agenda. That is why, according to him, there will be no split.

The draft resolution on preventing manifestations of separatism and other infringements on the fundamentals of Ukraine’s national security was included into the agenda.

R.Koshulynskyi read out the text of the resolution.

The Resolution was adopted in entirety by 319 votes.

The Verkhovna Rada considered a number of cadre issues.

Parliamentarians voted out of office V.Rybak and I.Kalyetnik.

Further on, the presiding at the meeting brought up for discussion the issue of election of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. He informed that deputy factions suggest two candidates – the people’s deputies O.Turchynov and P.Poroshenko.

The people’s deputy P.Poroshenko informed that he withdraws his candidacy for the post of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The Verkhovna Rada elected O.Turchynov the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by 288 votes.

The meeting was further led by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov.

O.Turchynov noted that in view of the fact that President Yanukovych did not sign the law on restoration of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada has the authority to pass the resolution on this issue.    

The draft resolution on the text of Constitution of Ukraine in the version of June 28, 1996 with amendments and supplementations made by the laws of Ukraine of December 8, 2004 No. 2222-VI, of February 1, 2011 No. 2952-VI and of September 19, 2013 No. 586-VIII was included into the agenda by 315 votes.  The people’s deputy A.Yatseniuk reported on the draft resolution.

In view of the situation in the country, O.Turchynov asked to vote on the resolution. He said that he will sign it in line with the requirements existing between the political forces.

The resolution was adopted by 325 votes.

O.Turchynov congratulated Ukraine on restoration of the constitutional order. “Our task for today is the stable and strong Ukraine,” he stressed.

The Chairman said that it is further needed to resume the work of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Oleksandr Turchynov read the text of the resolution on assuming political responsibility for the situation in Ukraine (Reg. No. 4180). The draft stipulates that the Verkhovna Rada authorizes Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Turchynov to coordinate and direct activity of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine until formation of a coalition Government. This Resolution comes into force since the day of its adoption.

Oleksandr Turchynov explained that adoption of this resolution is caused by prevention of forming parallel executive authorities.  

Draft resolution was included into agenda with 315 votes, and was adopted in entirety with 325 votes.

The Chairman suggested consider the issue on appointing the Minister of Internal Affairs. He informed that deputies’ factions agreed on the candidacy of people’s deputy Arsen Avakov for this post.

Non-affiliated deputies M.Rudkovskyi and I.Yeremeiev suggested candidacy of people’s deputy V.Yarema.

V.Yarema withdrew his candidacy in favour of A.Avakov.  

The Chairman addressed people’s deputies with a request to adopt a decision which will be valid until the formation of a coalition government.   

The Verkhovna Rada appointed A.Avakov as the acting Minister of Internal Affairs with 275 votes.  

The draft resolution on expressing distrust to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Pshonka V.P. was included to the agenda.

People’s deputy S.Sas informed about the draft. Reminding the functions of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the people’s deputy suggested adopt the draft resolution.

The resolution was adopted with 314 votes.

In connection with absence of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in Kyiv, the Presidential Administration does not inform where he is or what are the reasons for his absence, Oleksandr Turchynov requested to immediately find out the location of V. Yanukovych.   

The Chairman claimed that in view of the fact that adopted laws are not signed, one of which concerns a specific person, Yu.Tymoshenko, and whose life is in danger, he suggested uphold the draft resolution on fulfilling international obligations of Ukraine regarding releasing Tymoshenko Yu.V.

The draft resolution was included to the agenda, and was adopted with 322 votes.

Oleksandr Turchynov announced resignation of people’s deputies Oleksandr Yedin, Yurii Herzhov, Anatolii Kinakh, Oleksandr Kuzmuk, Mykola Kruhlov, and Yan Tabachnyk from the Party of Regions faction.

The Chairman gave the floor to representatives of the faction regarding further work.

The Chairman announced a break till 4 p.m.

At 2:53 p.m. the Chairman invited people’s deputies to the session hall for an important message.

Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada R.Koshulynskyi informed about resignation of people’s deputies Mykola Zhuk, Artem Iliuk, Volodymyr Saldo, and Hennadii Trukhanov from the Party of Regions faction.   

R.Koshulynskyi read the Decree of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada on returning voting cards to people’s deputies P.Baloha and A.Dombrovskyi.   

R.Koshulynskyi announced about resignation of Mykhailo Myronenko, Oleksandr Stoian, Serhii Kuzmenko, Vitalii Barvinenko, Volodymyr Mysyk, and Oleksandr Bilovol from the Party of Regions faction.

At 5 p.m. Oleksandr Turchynov continued the meeting. He claimed that the main issue is still connected with the President of Ukraine.  

The Chairman informed that near 2 p.m. it was possible to find V.Yanukovych by the phone. According to him, leader of the “Batkivshchyna” faction A.Yatseniuk talked with him, and suggested him to immediately write a notice of resignation.  

Oleksandr Turchynov suggested include the draft resolution on self-withdrawal of the President of Ukraine from performing his constitutional duties and setting early elections of the President of Ukraine into the agenda. He read the resolution’s text, according to which “it has been determined that the President of Ukraine V.Yanukovych has in the non-constitutional manner withdrawn from performing constitutional powers and is the one that does not perform his duties,” and it was suggested to set early elections of the President of Ukraine for May 25, 2014.

The Verkhovna Rada adopted the resolution with 328 votes.

Oleksandr Turchynov informed that he held a meeting with chairmen of state authorities. According to him, there is a necessity to intensify their job and further coordinate it. Particularly, it concerns appointing Chairmen of the Security Service of Ukraine and of the Ministry of Defence. Candidacies for these posts are introduced by the President of Ukraine. Since President V.Yanukovych has self-withdrawn from performing his constitutional duties, it is urgent to appoint commissioner for controlling over activity of these authorities to coordinate these authorities.    

People’s deputies included draft resolution on appointing Nalyvaichenko V.O. as Commissioner for controlling the activity of the Security Service of Ukraine to the agenda.

Nalyvaichenko V.O. was appointed as Commissioner for controlling the activity of the Security Service of Ukraine with 299 votes.

Next resolution appointed Volodymyr Zamana as the Commissioner for controlling the activity of the Defence Ministry of Ukraine with 306 votes.  

The Verkhovna Rada appointed Oleh Makhnitskyi as the Commissioner for controlling the activity of the Prosecutor’s General Office of Ukraine with its next resolution.

The Chairman announced a break in the meeting till 10 a.m. of February 23.  

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