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Donetsk republic at Minsk talks plans insisting on local elections - envoy

September 20, 2015, 14:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"We shall touch upon the issue of elections," Denis Pushilin told the Donetsk News Agency

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Denis Pushilin

Denis Pushilin

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) at the negotiations in Minsk due on September 22 will insist on its decision to organise local elections, the republic’s head of the delegation to the Contact Group on settlement of the crisis in Donbass Denis Pushilin said on Sunday.

"We shall touch upon the issue of elections," he told the Donetsk News Agency. "Of course, I believe, we shall experience certain pressure due to the decisions head of the republic has made. But we have arguments to protect the position we have, as once again we are moving unilaterally in fulfilment of the Minsk accords."

The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in Donbass claim Kiev does not observe the Complex of Measures to implement the Minsk agreements and thus heads of the republics said they would fulfil the obligations unilaterally, after saying so they announced local elections dates - October 18 in Donetsk and November 1 in Lugansk.

Accords to settle crisis in Donbass

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Complex of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements.

The Complex of Measures (Minsk-2), earlier agreed in the Belarusian capital with leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias starting from February 15.

This was to be followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement by at least 15 kilometres (9 miles), prisoner release and agreement for international observers to monitor the truce.

Establishment of working subgroups is part of agreements reached by leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in Minsk on February 12 calling for a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias.

Based on September’s stillborn Minsk peace protocol, the deal also laid out a road map for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give the war-torn eastern regions more autonomy.

Among the terms of the deal was a commitment to intensify the work of the Contact Group. Four subgroups, tasked with addressing security, political, economic and humanitarian issues, are expected to advance work by the Contact Group in activating elements of the Minsk deal.

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