Russia Opposes ‘Inadequate’ UN Draft Statement on East Ukraine Vote

 

Russia opposed a UNSC statement to condemn Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections in eastern Ukraine

Russia opposed a UNSC statement to condemn Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections in eastern Ukraine

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

© AP Photo/ United Nations, Eskinder Debebe
November 4, 2014

UNITED NATIONS, November 4 (RIA Novosti) Russia has opposed a UN Security Council statement to condemn Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections in eastern Ukraine which it said was “inadequate”, a spokesperson for the Russian mission to the UN said late on Monday.

“There was a draft press-statement that was inadequate. For this reason it was not adopted,” said Alexei Zaitsev, the first press-secretary to the Russian ambassador to the UN. He did not elaborate.

The Ukrainian ambassador to the 15-member council said earlier that UN tried to draft a statement on what it regards as illegal elections. The vote has also been criticized by the European Union, France, Germany and some other nations.

The elections in eastern Ukraine ran off smoothly and showed a high voter turnout, according to the local election commissions. With 100 percent of ballot lists counted, acting Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko was confirmed as the official leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), while the candidacy of Igor Plotnitsky was backed in the adjacent Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR).

Russia said it would recognize the results of the vote since it lent legitimacy to the people negotiating a peace settlement in Ukraine.

International Observers in Donbas Polls Report No Violations During Refugee Vote

ROSTOV-ON-DON, November 2 (RIA Novosti)A group of international election observers have registered no reports of suspected vote rigging at the polling stations set up for Donetsk and Luhansk refugees in southwestern Russia, a Hungarian observer told reporters during Sunday’s vote.

“Everything is going, as it should. We have exposed no violations so far,” the observer said, adding, “You cannot prohibit people to vote. These elections must prove that voting can be peaceful.”

Another Hungarian observer said she did not expect Kiev to recognize the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections in its breakaway eastern “republics.”

“The situation we are in today is that the West has double standards: they have their own take on what a democracy is, and all other opinions don’t count,” she said. The observer stressed she believed that elections would help peace settlement in eastern Ukraine.

Refugees from the besieged eastern provinces are voting to elect the leaders and legislatures in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.

Mobile polling stations were opened in three west Russian regions bordering on Ukraine.

Voting is underway at mobile polling stations. Two voting stations have been set up in the village of Krasny Desant in Russia’s Rostov region, and the voting is being monitored by foreign observers.

The election commission in Luhansk said it estimated the number of Luhansk refugees living in Russia at some 200,000.

In May, Luhansk and Donetsk regions declared themselves “people’s republics” and called to secede from Ukraine after the country went through a painful political crisis, which resulted in a coup in February. In mid-April, the new Ukrainian government launched a military campaign against the regions in a bid to crack down on the opposition.

Poroshenko considers canceling law on special local governance of Donbass

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (RIA Novosti/Nikolay Lazarenko)

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (RIA Novosti/Nikolay Lazarenko)

 

RT news

Ukraine may abolish its law on special local governance in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, President Petro Poroshenko announced on Monday. The measure will be discussed at a meeting with the National Security Council, called by the president for Tuesday.

In his address to the nation, the Ukrainian president said that Kiev stays true to the Minsk protocol, but has to make amendments to the special status law, which was approved by the parliament on September 16.

Ukraine is ready to adopt a new law on decentralization of power “if all sides get back to observance of the Minsk protocol,” Poroshenko said.

The protocol was approved in the Belarusian capital on September 5, with Kiev authorities and Donetsk and Lugansk militias agreeing on a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. The contact group in Minsk agreed on other key issues, including the exchange of war prisoners and humanitarian aid access to the conflict zone.

The document on special local governance in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, signed by Poroshenko last month, outlined “temporary order of local government in certain districts,” and suggested local elections in the districts to be scheduled for December.

Prime Minister of Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, casting his vote. RIA Novosti / Aleksey Kudenko

Prime Minister of Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, casting his vote. RIA Novosti / Aleksey Kudenko

The self-proclaimed people’s republics carried out elections this weekend. According to the vote’s final results, incumbent PM Aleksandr Zakharchenko won Sunday’s elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, taking some 75 percent of the votes. In Lugansk, 63 percent voted for the current leader, Igor Plotnitsky.

In his address, Poroshenko said Ukraine did not recognize the elections in the regions, calling it a “farce at gunpoint” and a “terrible event that has nothing in common with the real expression of the people’s will.”

The vote “brutally violates” the Minsk agreements, Poroshenko stated, adding that the vote threatened to disrupt the peace process in the area.

Representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions have said they abide by the Minsk protocol and are ready to continue their dialogue with Kiev, should its officials “act in a sensible way.”

Ukraine held its early parliamentary elections on October 26. Moscow recognized the results of both votes.

Earlier in October, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the law giving special status to troubled regions in eastern Ukraine was “not perfect,” but might be used to finally stabilize the situation in the area.

Perhaps it’s not a perfect document, but it’s a step in the right direction, and we hope it will be used in complete resolution of security problems,” Putin said after closed-door talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Milan.

Incumbent PM Zakharchenko leads in Donetsk elections – early results

RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko

RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko

RT news

Incumbent PM Aleksandr Zakharchenko is leading in Sunday’s elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, taking over 70 percent of the votes, early results showed after half the ballots had been counted.

Zakharchenko is ahead of his rivals with over 70 percent of votes, the head of the Central Election Commission of the DPR, Roman Lyagin, said on Sunday evening.

He was trailed by Aleksandr Kofman, deputy speaker of the Novorossiya Union parliament, and Yury Sivokonenko, an MP from the local Supreme Council.

Meanwhile, the lead in the parliamentary elections – also held on Sunday – is being claimed by Zakharchenko’s Donetsk Republic party, which has 65.11 percent, the head of the Election Commission added citing exit poll. The rival Svobodniy Donbass party is collecting 34.89 percent of the votes.

Members of the self-defense forces cast their votes during the elections for the leader and the People's Council of the Donetsk People's Republic (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)

Members of the self-defense forces cast their votes during the elections for the leader and the People’s Council of the Donetsk People’s Republic (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)

 

The self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk took to polling stations to vote for their leaders and MPs on Sunday. Over 360 polling stations were open in Donetsk for three million potential voters. Meanwhile, 102 polling stations for approximately 1.5 million voters were open in Lugansk.

In Lugansk, the overall turnout exceeded 60 percent, according to the head of the Central Election Commission in the LPR, Sergey Kozyakov. He added that by 8p.m. local time, nearly 630,000 residents had come to cast their votes.

Kiev has said it will not recognize the elections, as they contradict Ukrainian legislation. Ukraine’s Security Service has opened a criminal case against the organizers of the elections in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko condemned the elections as illegitimate on Sunday and called on Russia not to recognize the results.

“I count on Russia not to recognize the so-called elections because they are a clear violation of the September 5 Minsk protocol, which was also signed by Russia’s representative,” he said in a statement.

Luhansk residents cast their votes at a polling station during the elections for the head and the People’s Council of the Luhansk People’s Republic (Reuters / Valery Melnikov)

Luhansk residents cast their votes at a polling station during the elections for the head and the People's Council of the Luhansk People's Republic (Reuters / Valery Melnikov)

Luhansk residents cast their votes at a polling station during the elections for the head and the People’s Council of the Luhansk People’s Republic (Reuters / Valery Melnikov)

 

However, Moscow earlier pointed out that according to the Minsk peace agreements, elections in both Ukraine and the self-proclaimed republics should be conducted between October 19 and November 3.

Thus Poroshenko’s order from October 16, which set the date of elections in the self-proclaimed republics for December 7, “contradicts the Minsk agreements,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Ukraine conducted parliamentary elections on October 26.

No serious violations of public order were reported during the Sunday elections in the DPR. “We have no reports about incidents at polling stations,” a DPR Interior Ministry spokesman told TASS news agency. Minor incidents included a false bomb threat.

International observers said the elections in the self-proclaimed republics followed international standards, adding that they saw no violations during the process.

An MP from the Upper Chamber of Italy’s Parliament, Lucio Malan, acting as an observer at the elections in Donetsk, told RT that people “were not influenced in any way” during the vote.

The prevention of double or triple voting appeared to be good, up to international standards” he added.

What was possible for us to see and what we witnessed is that they fit completely into generally accepted democratic electoral standards,” Manuel Ochsenreiter, a German observer in Lugansk, told RT. “What was really impressing – the masses of people at the polling stations, standing sometimes for hours just to put their vote, to express their political will.”

“First I believe the elections followed international standards of democratic elections. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and the vigor with which the people went to the polls to express their opinion,” US Senior Attorney Frank Abernathy, an observer in Lugansk, told RT.

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