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Russia says it blocked UN statement on elections in Donetsk, Luhansk as ‘inadequate’

November 04, 2014, 1:35 UTC+3
The Lithuanian-drafted text stated that the elections held on Sunday in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions run counter to the provisions of the Minsk peace agreement, reached in September
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© EPA/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO

UN, November 4. /TASS/. Russia has opposed a UN Security Council move to criticize elections held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, with a senior official telling the United Nations a statement from the 15-member council is “inadequate”.

“There was a draft press statement which was inadequate. For this reason it was not adopted,” Alexey Zaitsev, the First Secretary for Russia's permanent envoy to the UN, told TASS, commenting on remarks by Ukraine U.N. Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev saying the proposed statement was blocked by Russia.

The Lithuanian-drafted text stated that the elections held on Sunday in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions run counter to the provisions of the Minsk peace agreement, reached in September.

“They tried to draft a statement last Friday and Saturday. They drafted this paper, but their will was blocked by Russia,” Ukrainian Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev said on Monday.

The November 2 elections of the Prime Minister and deputies of the People’s Assembly in self-proclaimed Donetsk brought victory to the incumbent Prime Minister, Alexander Zakharchenko, and the Donetsk Republic popular movement he stands at the head of.

In another self-proclaimed semi-state entity, the Luhansk People’s Republic, elections were won by the current Prime Minister, Igor Plotnitsky, and his Mir Luhanshchine (Peace for Luhanshchina) public movement.

The first elections of Prime Ministers and legislators in the DPR and LPR were watched by representatives of the U.S., Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia and some other countries. They said upon the end of voting they had not seen any major violations and the elections stood fully in line with European electoral practices.

The government in Kiev speaks about illegitimacy of elections in the two unrecognized republics, with the U.S. and the EU supporting the claim. EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said the EU had no plans to recognize the outcome of the elections in East Ukraine.

The U.S., which said the elections contradicted the letter and spirit of the Ukrainian Constitution and the September 5 Minsk accords, condemned the fact they had been organized.

In contrast to the West, Russia believes that Sunday’s voting in the two self-proclaimed republics marked an encouraging step towards reconciliation in Ukraine. On the eve of the voting, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in an official statement the elections complied with the Minsk accords and offered a chance to put the situation in southeastern Ukraine to the track of a fruitful dialogue.

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