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Ukraine says it will impose martial law if peace talks fail

Ukraine's parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Turchynov expressed skepticism that Russian forces will continue to depart its eastern region peacefully, and cautioned that martial law will be imposed if peace efforts fail.

By JC Finley
Ukraine says it will impose martial law if peace talks fail
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (L) talks to Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Turchynov in the Parliament in Kiev. (UPI/Ivan Vakolenko) | License Photo

KIEV, Ukraine, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Ukraine's Parliamentary Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov cautioned Thursday that if peace talks with Russia and Russian-backed rebels fail, martial law will be imposed in eastern Ukraine.

"If Donbas is not cleared peacefully, we will have no alternative to clear it of invaders by imposing martial law and mobilizing all of the resources of the country," Turchynov said, adding, "I am also convinced that if the Russian aggression does not stop, we will be able to see the effect of such sanctions from the West, which will lead to the economic collapse of the Russian Federation."

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In an interview with Focus magazine, Turchynov acknowledged he was "very skeptical about them [Russia] wanting to peacefully get out of Ukraine."

"If the path of peace brings no results, alternative we will have no alternative to imposing martial law and mobilizing all of the resources of the country."

The constitution authorizes the president to declare martial law, he noted. "If the president makes the decision to submit such a decree, the parliament will always support it."

Officials from Ukraine and Russia, joined by Russian-backed separatist leaders, signed the Minsk Protocol on September 5 that included the declaration of a cease-fire that went into effect later that day and laid out 11 other peace plan provisions.

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