VIENNA, November 12. /TASS/. Russia believes that Sunday’s elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) represent a major step towards dialogue between Donbass and Kiev on the implementation of the Minsk agreements, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich said on Monday.
"We respect the expression of will of people living in southeastern Ukraine, which, by the way, was organized in compliance with the general and equal electoral right guaranteed by provision 7.3 of the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document," the Russian diplomat said at a special session of the OSCE Permanent Council. "We consider the November 11 elections as a major step towards continuation of dialogue between Donetsk, Lugansk and Kiev within the Contact Group on issues of the implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures endorsed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2202."
People in Donbass have demonstrated that they want peace and do not want war, Lukashevich stressed. "And shelling attacks by Ukrainian troops on Gorlovka’s suburbs on the voting day demonstrate what Kiev really wants. I hope European countries understand whom they support," he said.
"Encouraging Kiev’s ‘party of war’ leads to a situation when the Ukrainian army keeps violating the ceasefire and hindering disengagement of forces, and the Ukrainian authorities keep on dodging direct dialogue with the republics and continue inhumane economic and transport blockade of Donbass," he said.
Elections in Donbass
The self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk elected their heads and parliaments on November 11. With 100% of ballots counted, acting head of the LPR Leonid Pasechnik won 68.3% of votes and acting head of the DPR Denis Pushilin scored 60.85% of votes.
The "Mir Luganshchine" (Peace to the Lugansk Region) movement won the LPR People’s Council election with 74.13% of the vote, while the "Donetskaya Respublika" (Donetsk Republic) movement came first in the DPR People’s Council election with 72.5%. The voter turnout reached 77% in LPR and 80.1% in DPR.
Before the polls, on November 8, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Italy's Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said that elections in the self-proclaimed Donbass republics ran counter to the Minsk accords.
In the meantime, Lugansk, Donetsk and Moscow have repeatedly said that such elections in no way infringed upon the Minsk agreements, which mentioned only municipal elections whereas elections of the republic’s heads and parliaments could not be classified as municipal.