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Kremlin chief of staff concerned with incidents ahead of local election in Ukraine

October 22, 2015, 15:30 UTC+3
Sergey Ivanov said he does not see significant progress in the situation in Ukraine and stressed that Kiev should hold talks with Donbas
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Sergey Ivanov

Sergey Ivanov

© Alexey Nikolsky/TASS

SOCHI, October 22. /TASS/. Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergey Ivanov is concerned with incidents ahead of local election in Ukraine from the point of view of democratic nature.

"Media report - not only Russian, but also foreign media - about what is going on there [in Ukraine]. Candidates are shot at, beaten. Thousands of unregistered bulletins are found, and so on. This is what really concerns me from the point of view of the democratic nature of the elections," Ivanov told journalists.

He said the example was the opposition bloc that was suspended from election in Kharkov "without any grounds." "Is this democratic?" Ivanov asked.

Sergey Ivanov said he does not see significant progress in the situation in Ukraine and stressed that Kiev should hold talks with Donbas.

"I would not say that," Ivanov told journalists answering a question on whether there is progress in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. "I would be cautious to make such optimistic forecasts," he added.

Ivanov noted that the sides in the conflict declare their adherence to the Minsk Agreements. "Talking about the implementation, I have not yet seen significant progress, apart from the loyal part, of course," he noted. "Active combat actions have thankfully stopped. This should be followed by what is outlined in the Minsk Agreements step by step," Ivanov said.

"I think that there will be no progress until the Ukrainian leadership understands the obvious necessity of establishing contacts with the leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk," he stressed. "Without dialogue, no progress will be reached no matter what Germany, France, and Russia say. We will not hold talks instead of them," Ivanov noted.

He expressed hope that Kiev will adhere "to the letter of the Minsk Agreements."

Normandy Four top diplomats may meet in Berlin on Nov. 5-6

A diplomatic source in Kiev told TASS on Thursday that the foreign ministers of the Normandy Quartet (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) can meet in Berlin on November 5-6, .

The source said the meeting would focus on implementation of the Minsk agreements on the Ukrainian conflict resolution.

Minsk agreements on Ukraine

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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