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Russian ombudsman marks shortcomings in Ukraine’s local elections

Kiev has no grounds to demand from Donbas the things it is not complying itself with under the Minsk peace accord agreements, Konstantin Dolgov says

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. Russia’s human rights ombudsman marked on Friday numerous shortcomings in preparation of October 25 local elections in Ukraine, saying Kiev had no grounds to demand from Donbas the things it was not complying itself with under the Minsk peace accord agreements.

"Indeed, preliminary conclusions of observers from the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities show and expose a big number of drawbacks in preparation of October 25 elections," said Konstantin Dolgov, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law.

Focusing on the shortcomings, he cited an imperfect law on elections "approved in haste, in violation of commitments within the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), absence of equal conditions for political parties and independent candidates".

Dolgov said almost 1.5 million internally displaced persons had no right to vote in the elections.

Not empty compliments were required at the moment from European Union countries, European agencies, but clear appeals to the Ukrainian authorities to see them comply with the election commitments fixed in the Minsk peace accord agreements, Dolgov said.

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and the setting up of working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.