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Donbas chooses February 21 as election day in line with Ukraine’s law — LPR

September 23, 2015, 17:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic's leader Igor Plotnitsky, the date for holding elections has been determined by the Minsk agreements
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© TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR respectively) have chosen February 21 as the date for holding local elections in line with Ukraine’s legislation, LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky said on Wednesday.

"The date for holding elections has been determined by the Minsk-2 deal," Plotnitsky said. "If Ukraine stops sabotage and imitation and immediately goes ahead with the Minsk-2 implementation, it will approximately be this date. The package of measures should be implemented step by step: a special status, amnesty, and a reform of the Constitution and a law on elections negotiated by the sides."

"We have considered all the procedural timeframes required by Ukraine’s laws — the procedure of amendments in the constitution, Rada’s regulations and timeframes for announcing and then preparing elections. So the date fell on February 21," he said.

Plotnitsky said Donbas "treated laws and regulations of Ukraine with respect."

"However, they [Ukraine’s government] have taken it in as an ultimatum," LPR leader went on to say. "But our proposals contain just requirements written in the Minsk-2 agreements. Ukraine sealed the deal. So does [President Petro] Poroshenko happen to believe the Minsk deal is an ultimatum which he himself signed?"

"The logic is quite contorted," he said. "I feel that Petro Alekseyevich [Poroshenko’s patronymic] should stop worrying, calm down and carefully consider our proposals."

"Ukraine has declared an ultimatum to itself," Plotnitsky said. "We don’t understand why Ukraine’s officials have perceived our proposal to hold elections on February 21 as an ultimatum. On the contrary, we are showing a path to a compromise."

On Tuesday, the LPR envoy at the Minsk talks of the Contact Group resolving the conflict in Donbas, Vyacheslav Deinego, said that on that day the self-proclaimed republics had submitted to the Contact Group an adequate timeframe for implementation of political provisions of the Minsk deal, which would help secure the settlement of 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. 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)," Deinego said noting that the DPR and LPR had suggested to Kiev that local elections should be held on a new date, February 21.

Talks of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) leaders on the Ukrainian issue along with regular talks of the Contact Group on resolving the Ukraine conflict took place in the Belarusian capital Minsk on February 12.

The talks ended by adoption of a 13-point package of measures, which contained in particular a ceasefire starting from February 15, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line disengaging the Kiev troops and militias of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as measures on long-term political settlement in Donbass, including enforcement of a special self-rule status for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

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