BERLIN, April 1. /TASS/. There are no prerequisites for holding local elections in Donbas until the process of armaments withdrawal has been completed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday at a joint news conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
"The issue of holding elections should be discussed in the framework of working groups inside the Contact Group," Merkel said. "But until the pullout of heavy armaments is completed, there are no prerequisites for holding elections."
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has not confirmed yet that the withdrawal of armaments in east Ukraine has been completed, she said.
"Much has been achieved regarding pullback of heavy armaments, but there’s no verification on the part of the OSCE that the process has been completed," Merkel said.
The situation in south-east Ukraine has become calmer, but the ceasefire regime is not observed in full in the country, German Chancellor noted.
"The situation regarding military standoff has become calmer, but the ceasefire regime is not observed in full yet," Merkel said. "The transparency in the process of heavy armaments pullout can’t be ensured to a sufficient degree yet."
"Ukraine reassured us that it is ready to implement agreements and the Package of Measures adopted in Minsk," she said, adding that "Germany and France will follow this process."
Loan to Ukraine issue
The details of providing a €500 million loan to Ukraine have not been agreed yet, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a joint news conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Berlin.
"The declaration of intent on providing a €500 million loan will be signed. Its details are yet to be agreed," she said.
She noted, though, that Ukraine had made some progress in implementing reforms. "Today we have held talks on the International Monetary Fund program, on the steps that had been taken in implementing reforms, on combating corruption and on making the taxation system more transparent. Considerable progress has been made," Merkel said.
She added that "Germany was helping to treat wounded Ukrainian service members."