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Ukraine’s election commission rules out Donbass polls in next two years

March 17, 5:24 UTC+3 KIEV
Director general of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine Alexei Koshel said holding the elections in eastern Ukraine in the near future was impossible
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KIEV, March 17. /TASS/. Elections in certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine cannot be held in the coming two years, the deputy head of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, Andrei Magera, said on Thursday.

"I don’t believe that it is possible to hold elections not only in June 2016, I doubt that in June 2017 they can be held," Magera told Channel 5 TV.

Director general of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine Alexei Koshel also said holding the elections in eastern Ukraine in the near future was impossible. In the best case scenario, the polls in Donbass could take place no earlier than in five years, Koshel said. In the worst case scenario, this could happen in ten or more years, he added.

The Minsk agreements approved on February 12, 2015 by leaders of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) envisaged ceasefire and 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.

At talks in Paris on March 3, the Normandy Four foreign ministers failed to agree on a timeframe for the elections in Donbass due to Kiev’s position. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his Ukrainian counterpart Pavel Klimkin opposed a proposal on setting election date for June. As a result, no action plan on the implementation of the political agenda was agreed upon.

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