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 Elections in Donbas possible only after Russian troops withdraw, - Foreign Ministry of Ukraine

Ukraine's clear and consistent position suggests that local elections in the Donbas may take place only after Russia's military withdraw from its territory and security measures are taken for them to comply with OSCE standards and Ukrainian legislation.

Censor.NET reports citing the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry press office.

"The reaction of the people of Ukraine to the recent statement of the German ambassador has been one of confusion and frustration. However, this reaction has no bearing on Ukraine-Germany relations.

Read more: "Such lawmaker's behavior totally inadmissible," - President Poroshenko condemns MP Honcharenko's actions outside German embassy

"We continue to rely on the German federal government and our German friends, who play a crucial role in forming the international coalition that supports Ukraine in its fight against the Russian-led aggression in the Donbas. It is Germany that has the greatest influence on the Russian Federation and makes the Kremlin to deliver on its commitments under the Minsk agreements.

"Given all this, despite an understandable emotional backlash in the Ukrainian society, there is no point in resorting to actions near the German embassy as regrettably happened earlier.

Read more: MP Honcharenko's defacing of fragment of Berlin Wall "wholly inappropriate," - Federal Foreign Office

"The Ukrainian government has made it consistently clear that there can be no elections in the Donbas until Russia's forces are withdrawn from Ukraine and proper security conditions are guaranteed. Democratic elections must be held in strict conformity with OSCE standards and Ukrainian legislation.

"In Ukraine we have already had two 'rigged' elections in 2014 in Crimea and in the Donbas. Both those fake elections were held under Russian occupation and have been recognized by neither the Ukrainian government nor the wider international community. We have absolutely no faith that the Kremlin authorities have the will to ensure free and democratic elections in the Donbas. We also do not believe that the Russian proxies in the Donbas have the ability to carry out elections under acceptable OSCE standards.

Read more: Ambassador Reichel's remarks not at odds with official Berlin, - Federal Foreign Office spokesman Schäfer

"The German ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday evening. We have also used other diplomatic channels to discuss the issue.

"We have been very reassured by a strong message from Berlin reaffirming its support for Ukraine's fight against Russian aggression and the Normandy format negotiations which are seeking to bring peace back to the Donbas. Berlin unequivocally made clear that Russia bears full responsibility for this conflict. Most importantly Berlin made clear that any elections in the Donbas must be carried out under strictly regulated OSCE standards and in line with Ukrainian legislation," the statement says.

Read more: Germany ready to host Normandy format ministerial meeting anytime soon, - Ukraine's Foreign Ministry

As previously reported, Honcharenko defaced a fragment of the Berlin Wall at the German embassy in Kyiv in protest against the German Ambassador Ernst Reichel's suggestions about local elections in the Donbas.

The embassy said the act was in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Earlier, Reichel said in an interview it was not necessarily that elections in the Donbas take place only when there are no Russian troops or Ukrainian flag is posted on each city administration.

As an example, the ambassador cited the last 1990 parliamentary elections in the German Democratic Republic, which took place in the presence of Soviet troops.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has summoned Reichel in connection with the incident.
 
 
 
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