The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has canceled the Crimea free economic area, which was introduced by law in August 2014.
The adoption of relevant bill No. 5502-d on recognizing as invalid the law of Ukraine on the creation of a free economic area “Crimea” and on the specifics of performing economic activities in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and on amending some legislative acts of Ukraine was supported by 328 MPs.
“Taking into account the circumstances that operated in 2014, the law, in fact, introduced preferential conditions for the continuation of economic activities in the temporarily occupied territory. At the same time, the law regulated the implementation of the rights of Ukrainian citizens who remained to live in the temporarily occupied territory and introduced additional restrictions (in particular, customs), in the tax legislation such citizens were equated to non-residents,” the government said in the explanatory note.
The authors of the bill said that such restrictions have led to discrimination against citizens of Ukraine who have remained to live in the temporarily occupied territory or are registered in this territory.
In particular, the status of non-residents led to restrictions on access to banking services in the territory controlled by Ukraine. International and national human rights organizations have repeatedly stated about the negative consequences of the law for the observance of human rights and freedoms.
In addition, bill No. 5502-d proposes to regulate the procedure for persons entering and leaving the temporarily occupied territory, securing the right to free secondary legal aid for Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territory and ensuring the implementation of the right to inheritance for such persons.
The Verkhovna Rada at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday also supported bill No. 5501, which amends the Tax Code regarding the administration of taxes and fees in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and bill No. 5503 on amendments to the Customs Code in connection with the adoption of the law on the abolition of the Crimea free economic area.