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MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/. Leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnitsky said on Monday he was against participation of Ukraine’s "party of war" in the forthcoming local elections.
"We are immensely thankful to Russia and personally to Sergey Viktorovich [Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister] for their great contribution to peace efforts in Donbas," he said, commenting on Lavrov’s statement about possible organization of local elections in the self-proclaimed republics in Donbas under the Ukrainian law.
"Of course, we cannot accept participation in the elections of the parties that unleashed the war, that were to blame for the blood shed in our territory," LuhanskInformCenter quoted him as saying. "Their right place is not at the elections but at a prisoners’ dock."
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that the Minsk agreements envisaged direct consultations between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk to agree the modality of the elections. "Donetsk and Luhansk [the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk pepublics - DPR and LPR] are ready to hold them based on the Ukrainian legislation, they are ready for admitting OSCE observers to monitoring this process, but they want to negotiate all this in consultations with Ukrainian authorities," he said. "There are a number of aspects that cannot be resolved without consultations with the self-proclaimed republics. For example, they are against, understandably, the participation in their elections of such organizations as the Right Sector and other radicals, which is contrary to Ukraine’s law, according to which these organizations ostensibly have the right to participate in the elections."
Plotnitsky noted that local elections in the LPR depended on the results of the talks within the Contact Group’s political subgroup. "All will depend on the outcome of our meetings tomorrow [video links between participants of the Contac Group’s subgroups on security and political issues]," he said.
"But, in general, we are to hold elections in conformity with the Minsk agreements. We must hold them in line with law provided by Ukraine," he said.
Local elections in certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are among the provisions of the of the February 12 comprehensive action plan to fulfil the Minsk accords worked out by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in the search for peace in the embattled eastern Donbas region.
The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. 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.