11:24 GMT12 July 2020
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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    Kiev should expand or extend sanctions against Russia should Moscow support the elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — The Ukrainian government does not recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics as entities independent from Kiev, stating that it will not formally recognize local election results.

    Ukraine is expected to hold local elections on October 25, while Donetsk and Lugansk plan to hold their own local elections on October 18 and November 1, respectively.

    “If Russia approves of them [elections], then it is a blatant violation by Russia of the Minsk agreements. It should be followed by corresponding measures. This could be either an extension or expansion, or some other instruments in the hands of the international community to motivate Russia to come back to the negotiating table,” Poroshenko said in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels.

    Kiev will do everything in its power to prevent elections in Donetsk and Lugansk, he added.

    The Donbass self-proclaimed republics' authorities have repeatedly said they would hold the votes despite Ukraine's government agenda.

    The Minsk agreements, aimed at the Ukrainian reconciliation and signed by Kiev and Donbass in February, stipulated constitutional amendments providing more autonomy to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

    In accordance with the deal, both constitutional reforms aimed at decentralizing power in Ukraine and local elections in Donbass must be concluded before the end of 2015.

    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)


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    local elections, sanctions, Petro Poroshenko, Donbass, Ukraine, Russia
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