KIEV, November 2. /TASS/. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said on Facebook on Sunday that it had launched a criminal case into holding elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
“The criminal case has been launched under Part 1, Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (actions aimed at forcibly changing or overthrowing the constitutional order or seizing power),” the Security Service said in a report.
The legitimacy of the elections in the people’s republics started discussing just after the republics’ authorities announced their intention to hold the polls. Russia considers the voting a positive step within the Ukraine settlement while the West talks about their illegitimacy.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko said the republic’s authorities would launch a criminal case on genocide in response to the case opened by the Security Service of Ukraine into holding elections.
“If the SBU launched the criminal case into holding elections in the Donetsk People’s Republic, we also open the criminal case on genocide after the polls,” Zakharchenko said.
“If we don’t fear shelling, we don’t fear the criminal case. No matter what Ukraine is opening. It (Ukraine) is broiling with powerlessness. It is funny. We’ve made the choice and we follow our way. We don’t intend to turn off our path,” he said.
Earlier, Zakharchenko said he hoped that Kiev would recognize the republic after the elections.
Ahead of the elections in the republics the Russian Foreign Ministry said the elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics would comply with the Minsk agreements and gave a chance to switch over the situation in the embattled regions to constructive dialogue.
“Prior to the start of the Minsk process, the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics’ leaders publicly outlined their negotiating positions, which in particular stress that the holding on those territories of free elections on the principles of people’s self-governance will open the way for joint work to preserve the common economic, cultural and political space of Ukraine,” the statement said.
“Russia will contribute to confirmation of this policy by the leaders of the south-east who win the elections,” the ministry said. “We expect specific actions on bona fide fulfillment of the Minsk agreements both from the Ukrainian authorities and their Western partners, as well as the OSCE,” it said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was prepared to recognize the outcome of the Ukrainian parliamentary elections.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the PACE, NATO, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Didier Burkhalter, the US and European countries said the elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics would be allegedly legitimate.