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MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. Elections on February 21, 2016, proposed by east Ukraine’s self-proclaimed republics, will mark the second stage in the election process in the Donbas region, a senior official from the Donetsk People’s Republic said on Tuesday.
"We are talking about the next stages of the elections in the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk," Denis Pushilin, the Donetsk republic’s envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group of senior representatives from Ukraine, Russia and European security watchdog OSCE, was quoted as saying by the Donetsk news agency.
"The dates for holding the first stage of the vote — to elect heads of cities and regions — will remain the same — October 18 in the Donetsk People’s Republic and November 1 in the Luhansk People’s Republic," Pushilin said.
Earlier in the day, Vladislav Deinego, the Luhansk republic’s envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group, said the two self-proclaimed republics were planning to propose at Tuesday’s talks in Minsk a schedule for implementing political points of the Minsk accords reached in February that will allow resolving all political issues in Donbas.
"We have prepared a schedule with an adequate timeframe for implementing each political point of the package of measures to break the impasse," Deinego said, noting that "it was drafted based on the current legislation of Ukraine and the regulation of the Verkhovna Rada and also the norms of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)".
All regulatory acts envisaged by the February 12 peace deal should be agreed with the representatives of the republics and adopted within the suggested timeframe, he said. "We have defined the date for holding local elections in Donbas as February 21, 2016."
On Tuesday, envoys of Moscow, Kiev, the Donetsk and Luhansk republics and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe gathered in Minsk to continue Contact Group meetings reviewing progress of the ceasefire. Discussions include four working subgroups, tasked with addressing security, political, economic and humanitarian issues. They last met in the Belarusian capital on September 8. On September 15 and 16, Minsk also hosted talks between representatives of the political and security subgroups.