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 Poroshenko deems holding elections in Donbas in Russian troops’ presence impossible

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko insists on impossibility of holding elections in the Donbas without prior withdrawal of the Russian troops.

He said at a joint briefing with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras commenting on the statement by German Ambassador to Ukraine Ernst Reichel, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny.

"As for the statement of the German ambassador... Holding elections in the occupied territory in the presence of the occupying foreign troops is clearly impossible," he said.

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

Poroshenko also stressed that the occupation of the Donbas by the Russian army could not be compared to the situation in the German Democratic Republic as Reichel did.

"It's one thing when foreign troops are present with the consent of a state. It is possible to draw a parallel with the Russian base in Sevastopol. We held many elections with the Russian troops being present at the base in Sevastopol with the permission of Ukraine. But it is totally unacceptable when the occupation forces try to impose holding of elections at a gunpoint," he added.

Read more: Berlin follows Minsk agreements in resolving Donbas crisis, - German Foreign Ministry

The president also reminded that holding referendum in Crimea under occupation in the presence of the Russian troops was completely unacceptable.

Poroshenko noted that security section of the Minsk agreements provides for the withdrawal of Russian troops as a prerequisite for holding elections in the Donbas.

Earlier, Reichel said in an interview that the elections in the Donbas don't have to be held only when there are no Russian troops or when the Ukrainian flag is flying over each city council building.

The ambassador cited the example of the last parliamentary elections held in the German Democratic Republic in 1990 in the presence of the Soviet troops.

Read more: German's Reichel cancels press conference amid scandal over remarks on Donbas elections

About 30 members of the Verkhovna Rada reportedly urged Ukraine's Foreign Ministry to summon Reichel over his statements.

First Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Iryna Herashchenko also demanded explanations.

On the same day, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine summoned Ambassador Reichel and explained him the inadmissibility of his statements about the possibility to hold elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the presence of the Russian troops.
 
 
 
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