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Election in south-east Ukraine no threat to peace process — Russia's OSCE envoy

October 31, 2014, 15:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Recognition or non-recognition of the elections will not affect the alignment of forces in Donbass, Russia's Ambassador to the OSCE Andrey Kelin said

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© TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. Prior rejection by the Kiev authorities of the leadership and parliamentary polls in troubled south-east means Ukraine's leaders still reject talks and attempts to settle conflict across the territory, a leading Russian diplomat said.

The election presented no threat to the peace process, Russia's Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Andrey Kelin told the agency’s Permanent Council. It would deliver "a viable partner" for talks with Kiev aimed at reaching agreements, he said. "This will be only beneficial for the peace process,” he added.

Polling had been planned under a September protocol based on consultations within the Minsk contact group seeking to end the fighting. It accorded with Ukrainian law on self-governance status in districts of Donetsk and Luhansk, signed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko the following month.

“Elections between October 19 and November 3 was separately agreed upon with Ukraine," the diplomat said. "Representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics have taken their decision regarding the November 2 polls exactly proceeding from this schedule,” Kelin said.

The date of December 7, 2014 insisted upon by Kiev “was named without talks with militias and contradicts deadlines negotiated in Minsk,” the representative said. Conflicting parties did not agree on the date because “they did not have any talks,” the envoy added.

Recognition or non-recognition of the elections "will not affect the alignment of forces in Donbass,” he said.

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