20:45 GMT05 March 2021
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    The time left before the March 3 Normandy Quartet ministerial meeting must be used to draft the new law on local elections in the Donbass region.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday that the time left before the March 3 Normandy Quartet ministerial meeting on the situation in Ukraine must be used to draft the new law on local elections in the Donbass region.

    "We must prepare the next step prior to Paris and work on election preparation issues…we must try to use the time before March 3. Both France and Germany know that the law on elections is one thing, while prerequisites for holding them is another thing. But we must take care of both. Of course, the security situation must not be an excuse for us not working on the law on elections," Steinmeier said during a press conference in Kiev.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with Steinmeier and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in Kiev on Monday, discussing the situation in eastern Ukraine and the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements. The officials also coordinated their actions prior to a Normandy Quartet ministerial meeting scheduled for March 3.

    Following the October 2015 meeting of the Normandy Quartet, which comprises Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany, the Donbass militias agreed to hold local elections in early 2016, with Ukraine agreeing to grant special status to the Donbass region and amend its constitution accordingly by that time as per the Minsk II agreements.

    Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence militias in Ukraine’s eastern in April 2014. The confrontation has claimed over 9,000 lives, according to UN estimates.

    In February 2015, the leaders of the Normandy Quartet format worked out a ceasefire deal in Minsk later signed by Kiev and the Donbass militias. Despite the fact that the agreement was reached a year ago, both sides have been repeatedly reporting violations of the deal.

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    Tags:
    elections, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Donbass, Ukraine
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