Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Kyiv 15:41

No elections in Donbas until Russia withdraws its troops!

09 February 2017, 13:25

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

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 Donbas.  Germany that has among the greatest influence on the Russian Federation to make the Kremlin deliver on its commitments under the Minsk agreements.

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

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government has made it consistently clear that there can be no elections in Donbas until the Russian forces are withdrawn from Ukraine and proper security conditions are guaranteed.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

In Ukraine we have already had two ‘rigged’ elections in 2014 in Crimea and in Donbas. Both those fake elections were held under Russian occupation and neither have been recognized by the Ukrainian government nor by the wider international community.

We have absolutely no faith that the Kremlin authorities have the will to ensure free and democratic elections in Donbas.  We also do not believe that the Russian proxies in Donbas have the ability to carry out elections to acceptable OSCE standards.

The German ambassador was summoned to the MFA on Tuesday evening on to account for what he said. 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 Donbas.  Berlin unequivocally made clear that Russia bears full responsibility for this conflict. Most importantly Berlin made clear that any elections in Donbas must be carried out under strictly regulated OSCE standards and under Ukrainian legislation.

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