Donetsk, Lugansk Insist Local Election Possible Only After Hostilities End

© Sputnik / John Trast / Go to the mediabankDonbas update
Donbas update - Sputnik International
The elections in eastern Ukraine will be possible only after the Kiev government stops its military operation in the region and declares amnesty for the pro-independence forces, self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk said in a joint statement Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The statement also said that Ukrainian parties responsible for the military operation and the economic blockade, as well as for warmongering propaganda and ethnic hatred, would not be allowed to run in the local elections in Donbass.

“The elections will be held only after the military operation is over and a bill on amnesty for the militia and political activists of Donbass is adopted,” said a statement, released by the Donetsk News Agency.

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The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics have repeatedly called on Kiev to grant them more autonomy and were initially supposed to vote in general parliamentary election on December 7, 2014.

The regions refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government that had come to power in February 2014, what they considered to be a coup, and held their own elections on November 2, 2014. Kiev and the West refused to recognize the results of these elections.

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On February 12, Russia, France and Germany mediated a ceasefire in southeastern Ukraine between Kiev and eastern Ukrainian forces, which came into force on February 15.

Apart from the truce, the agreement stipulated constitutional reforms decentralizing power, as well as granting special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions by the end of 2015.

Despite the agreement reached in Minsk, the Ukrainian parliament decided to postpone the extension of special status to Ukraine's Donetsk and Lugansk regions until elections that are to be held in Donbass according to Ukrainian law.

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