Separatist Leader: Elections in the Donbas will be held on our terms

The leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Alexander Zakharchenko, has stated that he will not adhere to the Minsk Agreements with regard to the local elections. He said this on Saturday while at a press conference in Donetsk.

“We will hold the primaries in order to gauge people’s reactions and to show the world that we are ready to hold elections without the consent of Kiev,” Zakharchenko said.

“I am not going to dance to the tune of Ukraine, France and Germany who want us to hold elections under Ukrainian law. No Ukrainian party will attend our elections. We will hold them in accordance with the Minsk Agreements and also according to our situation and beliefs,” he said even though both approaches cannot be implemented together.

The Minsk Agreements are there to provide the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity by granting the temporarily occupied territories of the Donbas the status of “areas with a special order of the local government”. It also states that elections in these areas must be carried out under Ukrainian legislation.

This fourth paragraph of the Package of Measures on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements says that “on temporary order of the local government in the separate areas of Donetsk and Luhansk”, the local elections need to be held in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation and the laws of Ukraine. Paragraph 12 states that “the elections will be held in compliance with the relevant standards of the OSCE and will be monitored by the OSCE.”

Zakharchenko signed all of these documents in Minsk.

  Ukraine, Donbas, Zakharchenko, Minsk agreement, Elections