UN, Ukraine say elections in Donetsk, Luhansk republics violate Minsk agreements while Russia ‘respects people’s will’

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes that elections held on Sunday in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics came in violation of the Minsk agreements, a deputy official spokesman for the UN chief said.

Several days ahead of the elections, the UN chief made the same statement condemning the plans. His stance has been unchanged since then, spokesman Farhan Haq said. The spokesman also refused to say whether the UN plans to cooperate with the new leadership of the DPR and LPR.

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, who is chairman-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said the elections being held in the self-declared Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics run counter to the Minsk accords on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine.

At Sunday’s elections, according to preliminary results the current ‘prime minister’ of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, has received more than 70% of the votes. In the LPR, the winning candidate is the incumbent leader Igor Plotnitsky who has secured 63.17% of the votes, Russian news agency TASS reports.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Sunday’s unlawful elections in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk republics were a crude violation of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine.

Foreign observers at the illegal elections in the territories of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, uncontrolled by the Ukrainian authorities, will be declared personae non gratae, the Ukrainian Security Service said, Interfax-Ukraine reports.

Russia said it “respects the will of the people of southeast” Ukraine following elections on Nov. 2 for rebel leadership in the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. 

Prior to the vote, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the elections are held in line with the Minsk agreements and give a chance to switch the situation to a constructive dialogue. Lavrov said Russia is ready to recognise the results of the elections which are important for the legitimization of authorities.


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