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 Local elections in Donbas possible even with Russian military on the ground, - German Ambassador Reichel

Elections in the occupied Donbas can be carried out in the presence of occupation troops.

German Ambassador to Ukraine Ernst Reichel said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine, Censor.NET reports.

Commenting on the Minsk agreements, he said that if the Ukrainian side insists on holding elections only after it takes full control of the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, this would mean that Russia must fulfill almost all its commitments under the deal, and only after that Ukraine will start delivering on all the requirements that are important to Russia.

The diplomat cited an example of the past when the last parliamentary elections in the GDR, intended to replace the communist regime, were held in the presence of the Western Group of the Soviet troops and with the communist regime being in power. Nevertheless, the elections led to a change, Reichel stressed.

Read more: Lifting Russia sanctions out of question as Minsk agreements not implemented, - Polish foreign minister says

"Undoubtedly, elections should be held in those conditions that will correspond to European standards. And therefore safety, as well as other requirements regarding the electoral process, are essential. Any Ukrainian politician should be able to hold their campaign without fear. And if that is not possible, then such elections can not meet the standards. But it is not necessarily that the elections in the Donbas can only take place when there will be no Russian troops or Ukrainian flag will be posted on each city administration," the ambassador added.

Earlier, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said Russia must withdraw its troops and weapons from the Donbas and that it was a necessary precondition for any talks about local elections.
 
 
 
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