Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine
DONETSK, November 3 (RIA Novosti) – The elections held in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) do not contradict the Minsk agreements, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko has announced.
“It was said there [in the Minsk protocol] that we have the right to hold our own elections. The date was not specified,” Zakharchenko said at a press conference Sunday, adding that the elections held in the republic “do not contradict the Minsk agreements”, which have been fully fulfilled by the DPR.
According to Zakharchenko, DPR is open for dialogue with Kiev and is waiting for “adequate action” on the part of the Ukrainian leadership.
The Minsk protocol, signed September 5 by the Contact group on the Ukrainian crisis envisages a ceasefire and suggests, among other things, that Ukraine should adopt a law on granting special status to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and ensuring early elections of the heads of the self-proclaimed republics.
Elections of regional leaders and legislative bodies in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics took place on Sunday.
Kiev and several western countries said they would not recognize the results of this vote and repeatedly called it illegitimate. Russia, on the contrary, has expressed its intention to recognize the elections and emphasized that not recognizing would run counter to the Minsk protocol and undermine efforts to reach peace settlement in the country.
An Austrian observer called on Europe to acknowledge the elections held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, RIA NOVOSTI reported.
“I believe the result will reflect the public opinion of the people here in Donetsk. My appeal is that the European countries should accept the people’s will. Please accept their will and their opinion, and please be fair about this,” Ewald Stadtler said during a press conference in the republic’s capital of Donetsk.
On Sunday, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics held elections to choose their regional leaders and representatives of legislative bodies.
A total of 100 observers from a number of European countries and the United States arrived in the region to monitor the elections.
The authorities in the European Union and the United States said earlier the elections would come against the Minsk agreement on the regulation of the crisis in Donbas, and that the international community would not recognize them.
Meanwhile, Russia has expressed its intention to recognize the elections in the self-proclaimed people’s republics, saying that the not recognizing of the elections would actually run counter to the Minsk protocol and disrupt the progress toward finding a sustainable political solution to the conflict.