Oleksandr Turchynov: Further liberation of the occupied territories within the ATO format is impossible
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov considers that Ukraine should stop the anti-terrorist operation and switch to the new format of defending the country from the hybrid war waged by the Russian Federation against us.
"Hostilities in the east of our country have lasted already for three years and have outgrown the ATO format both in duration and scale. At the same time, it should be noted that the anti-terrorist operation completed many crucial tasks. It is within the ATO that we stopped the aggressor, managed to hold presidential, parliamentary and local elections, and liberated a significant part of the occupied territory of Ukraine. However, the time has come to switch to the new format of defending the country", - Oleksandr Turchynov said in an exclusive interview with "Interfax-Ukraine" agency.
According to him, the current Ukrainian legislation provides for two main cases when the combat use of the Armed Forces is allowed - declaration of war and anti-terrorist operation. "Despite popular belief, according to our law, the introduction of martial law provides only a special legal regime in the country or in particular regions and does not give an automatic right to use the Armed Forces and other military formations", - Secretary of the NSDC explained adding that the legislation was formed on the basis of the XX views on classical war and ignores the need to counter hybrid aggression unleashed by the Russian Federation against us.
Therefore, according to him, it is time to define a new format that will allow to effectively protect Ukraine from hybrid methods of war applied by Russia against us. "The time has come to not only recognize some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as occupied but to clearly define by legislation the principles of state policy concerning their liberation. We need an effective technology to protect the country, and for this, we should give the President the legislative right to use the Armed Forces and other military formations against Russia's hybrid aggression", - Secretary of the NSDC highlighted.
He also stressed the need to create in the area of confrontation a permanent Operational headquarters with broad powers for the integrated management of the Armed Forces, all security structures, and military-civilian administrations.
At the same time, Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine underlined that such approach "will only strengthen the foundation of the Minsk agreements, since their implementation is impossible without solving security issues and liberating the occupied Ukrainian territory".
"This is a very urgent issue that requires a discussion among professional experts. A revised bill "On the restoration of Ukraine's state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions" will be presented to the President, and after that, I hope, it will be promptly submitted to the Verkhovna Rada", - he said.