The upcoming November 11 elections in the self-proclaimed Ukrainian people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) are based on citizens’ constitutional rights and constitute no breach of the Minsk accords on Ukrainian reconciliation, DPR and LPR officials have said.
"The elections in Donbass are not in breach of the Minsk agreements and are held, first of all, in accordance with the constitution and the citizens’ constitutional rights, which is granted by international laws. And it would be unprofessional at best to discuss the matter of elections [at the UN Security Council] without our representatives," LPR acting foreign minister Vladislav Deinego said in a statement, issued in the run-up to the upcoming UN Security Council session on the situation in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Deinego’s acting counterpart from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Natalya Nikonorova, said the November 11 elections "are fully in line with the republic’s legislation and do not contradict the Minsk agreements."
"The Package of Measures contains only preconditions for holding municipal elections. Provisions 4, 9 and 12 of this document stipulate that modalities of municipal elections should be agreed by the two sides of the conflict - the Kiev government and Donbass - before they are held," she said.
Nikonorova went on to say that the republics fully comply with all provisions of the Minsk agreements. She said the stance of Kiev government, which "takes all possible measures to protract the conflict," remains the main obstacle for reconciliation in Ukraine.
"None of the provisions of the Package of Measures have been implemented by the Ukrainian side in full - the law on special status of Donbass was never put into practice, the bill on amnesty was not signed, even by the parliament’s speaker, the constitutional reform was adopted only in the first reading and without any coordination with Donbass, local elections were blocked by a new bill on restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty," she said.
According to Nikonorova, DPR and LPR remain "reliable partners for peace talks in Minsk."
However, Ukraine’s permanent representative to the UN, Vladimir Yelchenko, told the UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday that the upcoming elections in DPR and LPR violate the Ukrainian Constitution, the law on self-governance in certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions and "contradict the spirit and letter of the Minsk agreements, approved by a UN Security Council resolution in 2015," he said.
Yelchenko described the elections in Donbass as a "fake" and "provocation," which is being supported by Russia, adding that their results will be "invalid and have no consequences."
According to the Ukrainian side, the vote "may become a new starting point for an armed conflict" in the region.
During the UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday, Western nations prohibited LPR chief election official Yelena Kravchenko from delivering a report to the UN Security Council during its session to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the upcoming elections.
The decision to hold early elections in the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) was made a week after DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko was killed in a terrorist attack on August 31. Moscow described the vote as a necessary measure. According to Russia’s envoy to the Contact Group on Ukraine, Boris Gryzlov, the Minsk Package of Measures regulates only municipal elections in Donbass. The voting to choose executive heads and elect parliaments is not a municipal one and, therefore, constitutes no violation of the Minsk accords.