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Moscow expects feedback from Donetsk, Luhansk regarding new dates for local elections

October 05, 2015, 14:07 UTC+3
Besides dates for the elections, a key importance is a special status for Donbas, which should be permanent, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says
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Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov

© Alexander Scherbak/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. Moscow is still waiting for a feedback from the Donetsk and Luhansk republics regarding organization of local elections on new dates in compliance with the agreements the Normandy Four reached in Paris, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told TASS on Monday.

"Results of the talks in Paris were commented by the president’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, and I can confirm once again, that we are satisfied with the negotiations," Lavrov said. "We are convinced the discussion has removed for all the parties whatever misunderstandings (despite what they may have told their media later on), and made it clear what should be carried out fully."

A possible new date for Minsk-1 is secondary, and the most importance is what should be done.

"Besides dates for the elections, a key importance is a special status for Donbas, and in the parameters agreed on paper; there is no escaping those," the foreign minister said. "That should be permanent, not for a year or two — this is written clearly in the Minsk [accords]."

Lavrov commented on the provision about the amnesty.

"Amnesty has been discussed, and it is connected to local elections," he said. "France’s president suggested and the German chancellor supported, the election dates should be appointed so that to make sure observation of all other items of the agreement’s political part."

Since Donetsk or Luhansk were not represented in Paris, the Russian president as a mediator promised to inform them on that complex approach.

"The Russian president has ordered to discuss with representatives of the republics whether it would be possible to have the elections on new dates," he said. "We are expecting a feedback now."

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Package of Measures to fulfill the September 2014 Minsk agreements. The package was agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.

The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Luhansk. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions, as well as pardon and amnesty to adopting a law banning punishments for deeds related to the events in Donbas.

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