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Kiev: Negotiations with Donbass possible only after new elections

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin has come out with a statement on the Ukrainian television wherein he says Kiev will launch negotiations with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR) only after new elections are held there.

 “Everything is clear with the elections. It must be free and transparent elections. Therefore, we need OSCE’s control. Only after such elections, we will start a negotiation process with the Lugansk and Donetsk representatives,” he told on the TV “Channel 5 on April 14.

The Ukrainian minister called it necessary that “the next elections are recognized by all the international organizations and that OSCE could control the elections process.” He confirmed the reports saying he raised the issue at the Normandy four meeting at the level of foreign ministers in Berlin yesterday.

“Ministers do not say no (to the peacekeeping mission), but it is not that easy to organize it. It is necessary to decide whether it will be a joint mission of the UN and EU or it will be the UN peacekeepers alone.  We are discussing many issues, including the area of deployment of the Blue Helmets,” Klimkin said.

He acknowledged that without Russia the issue cannot be passed, since Russia has a right to veto at the UN Security Council. “Consultations must be held with the Russian Federation over the issue of peacekeepers also at the EU,” the minister said. Denis Pushilin, official representative of the Donetsk People's Republic, in turn, again blamed Ukraine for delaying implementation of the Minsk agreements. “We have suspicions that Ukraine seeks concentration of forces and a new escalation of the situation. This is what we are trying to prevent now,” Pushilin told Russia-24 TV.

Vladislav Deinego, the representative of the Lugansk People’s Republic /LPR/ slammed Kiev for deteriorating the humanitarian situation in Donbass. He is sure that Ukraine’s authorities deliberately refuse to set up working groups that would settle the economic and social problems.

Earlier, LPR People’s Council members suggested holding municipal elections in Donbas on November 2 2015.  Supreme Rada profile committee recommends holding the local elections in Ukraine on the last Sunday of October.

On March 21, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said Kiev will recognize any outcome of the elections to the local self-government in Donetsk and Lugansk regions if the elections are held within Ukrainian laws. The president said he is not speaking about “postponing the local elections.” On March 18, Poroshenko signed amended legislation stipulating the special status of Donetsk and Lugansk regions.  A day before, the Supreme Rada refused to announce a special self-government status in Donbass unless elections meeting Ukrainian laws are held there.

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