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Elections in eastern Ukraine no reason to bring troops into Ukraine — White House

The US National Security Council called on Russia and its supporters from the separatists to fulfill its commitments under the Minsk agreements

WASHINGTON, November 3. /TASS/. The United States has advised Russia not to use the results of elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) as a pretext for bringing troops into Ukraine, Mark Stroh, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, told TASS on Monday.

He claimed he had information, suggesting that Russian military are returning to the border with the separatist-controlled areas in the east of Ukraine.

Stroh cautioned Russia “against using any such illegitimate vote as a pretext to insert additional troops and military equipment into Ukraine.”

The US National Security Council spokesman again called on Russia and its supporters from the separatists to fulfill its commitments under the Minsk agreements of September 5 and the Minsk Memorandum of September 19.

“The United States will not recognize any results announced from this so-called "election", and we call on all members of the international community to do the same,” Stroh added. He said such elections contradict the Ukrainian constitution and the Minsk protocol of September 5.

According to Stroh, the only legitimate elections in the east of Ukraine will be those that will be held on December 7 under the law signed by President Petro Poroshenko.

Incumbent Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko and his Donetsk Republic movement are in the lead at the DPR head elections that were held on Sunday, November 2. LPR incumbent head Igor Plotnitsky and the Mir Luganshchine (Peace to Luhansk Region) movement that he heads are in the lead at the elections in the Luhansk People’s Republic.

Kiev said the DPR and LRP elections were illegitimate.

The West supports this position. EU’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said on Sunday after the polls closed that Brussels considers Sunday’s DPR and LPR elections as illegitimate and will not recognize their results. She said the parliamentary elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics are a new obstacle to peace in Ukraine.

Russia says the self-proclaimed republics’ polls are a positive step within the framework of the Ukrainian settlement process. In the run-up to the elections, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the DPR and LPR elections were held in line with the Minsk agreements and give a chance to turn the Ukrainian south-east situation into a constructive dialogue. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia is ready to recognize the results of the elections of the People’s Councils and heads of DPR and LPR that “will be important from the viewpoint of legitimisation of power.