A group of Ukrainian lawmakers has submitted a bill introducing a criminal punishment for those engaged in ‘separate negotiations’ with Russia, not authorized by the country’s government, the UNIAN news agency has reported.
The bill was co-authored by Golos party lawmakers, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk and Andrei Osadchuk, and a lawmaker with the pro-presidential Servant of the People party Nikita Poturayev, TASS reports.
The bill suggests amending the high treason article of Ukraine’s criminal code. In line with the bill, talks on Ukraine’s domestic or foreign policy issues with officials of the "aggressor state" (the notion used by Ukraine’s authorities to describe Russia) without a permission from the government should constitute a high treason.
The offense will be punishable with a prison term of between 13 and 15 years, with or without property confiscation.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was tasked with overseeing the matter.
The bill also suggests amending the law on TV and radio broadcasting in order to prohibit reports that "justify the aggression against Ukraine and/or occupation of the Ukrainian territory." Violations will be punishable with a fine amounting to 25% of the licensing fee.