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Donbas elections no violation of Minsk-2 provisions — Russia FM

September 23, 2015, 14:38 UTC+3

According to Lavrov, Kiev’s position "first elections - then amnesty" is a major distortion of the essence of the Minsk agreements

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© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. Elections in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic and Donetsk People's Republic that have been scheduled for October 18 and November 1 do not violate the accords reached in Minsk in February 2015, since the latter did not specify the dates, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"Please read what is written in Germany, France, America, or Ukraine about who is violating the Minsk accords," Lavrov said. "But this doesn't mean the position is interpreted scrupulously."

"They say the elections in Donetsk and Luhansk on October 18 and November 1 would violate the Minsk accords but, in the first place, these accords don't contain any mentioning of the dates," he said. "In the second place, these accords have long been crudely violated by the Ukrainian government."

The minister reminded that under the Minsk accords, Kiev had to launch talks with Donetsk and Luhansk on the modalities of holding the elections the day when the withdrawal of artillery began in April.

Besides, on March 12 the deadline expired for enactment of the law on the special status of Donetsk and Lugansk, Lavrov said. To this aim, a special regulation designating the territories subject to the law was to be adopted.

"This was not done: a law was adopted, the territories were designated, but the same law said that it will not work on the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics," Lavrov said.

These facts prove that the Ukrainian side violated the provisions of the Minsk peace agreements, known as Minsk-2, already this spring, he said.

"I want to ask our Western colleagues if they regard this refusal of Kiev to act in line with the commitments as a violation of the Minsk agreements. If "yes" then why did not they say about this immediately and are now advancing such claims," he said.

Kiev’s position ‘first elections, then amnesty’ distorts Minsk agreements

According to Lavrov, Kiev’s position "first elections - then amnesty" is a major distortion of the essence of the Minsk agreements.

"In accordance with criteria that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) approved for the elections in due time, amnesty must take place before the elections," the foreign minister said.

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