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DPR envoy slams US appeal to boycott Donbass elections

Earlier, the US Embassy in Kiev urged residents of eastern Ukraine to boycott the elections of heads of DPR and LPR

DONETSK, November 8. /TASS/. An appeal from the US Embassy to Ukraine to boycott the elections of the heads and members of People's Councils in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics on November 11 raises eyebrows as it comes from the country calling itself a democratic stronghold, DPR envoy to talks of the Contact Group in Minsk, Natalya Nikonorova, said on Thursday.

"Elections is the central institution of democracy," said Nikonorova, acting foreign minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. "That is why an appeal to boycott them that we hear at the moment from the state that views itself as a democratic stronghold is specifically impressive. Attempts to call on the Russian Federation to somehow influence the upcoming elections also raise eyebrows," she said as quoted by the Donetsk News Agency.

The envoy said the Western countries were used to meddling in domestic affairs of other states, but not all actors in international relations approved of that dubious principle of the foreign policy. "That is why we once again urge Kiev and all its partners to talk directly to representatives from the republics in case they have any questions that concern these territories," she stressed.

On November 7, the US Embassy in Ukraine urged residents of eastern Ukraine to boycott the elections of heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic scheduled for November 11.

"While Ukraine takes positive steps to promote peace, Russia is stoking conflict by staging sham 'elections'. Residents of eastern Ukraine should boycott these 'elections', which are not in line with either the Minsk agreements or Ukrainian law," the US Embassy in Ukraine wrote on its Twitter microblog on Wednesday.

The announcement of the local elections scheduled for November 11 was condemned by Kiev and described as the violation of Ukrainian laws and of the Minsk Agreements. The West supported Kiev. On October 30, the US, France, the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland initiated the discussion of the upcoming Donbass election at the UN Security Council session, calling them illegal. At the same time, UN SC members ignored Russia's suggestion to invite representatives of the self-proclaimed republics to the session.

DPR and LPR stress, however, that holding elections is aimed at preventing power vacuum in the self-proclaimed republics and ensuring security of local residents. "The main argument put forward by our 'Western friends' is that the elections contradict the Minsk Agreements. Such argument is baseless," acting DPR head Denis Pushilin said. "The Package of Measures on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements envisages coordination between the sides only when it comes to municipal elections. Nothing is said there about electing heads and parliament members. In this sense, we have a solid foundation," he added.

More than 90 foreign observers from over 20 countries already confirmed monitoring elections in DPR and LPR.